Sevilla's Sampaoli braced for 'crucial' match

Jorge Sampaoli is reluctant to consider his team favourites against Dinamo Zagreb but is braced for a fixture that could see Sevilla pull clear of Lyon.


Sevilla coach Jorge Sampaoli during a press conference.

Jorge Sampaoli knows the importance of claiming all three points when Sevilla travels to lowly Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League. Matchday three sees three-time reigning Europa League champion Sevilla face cellar-dwelling Dinamo in Group H on Tuesday.

Sevilla has collected four points from two matches, the same amount as Italian title-holder Juventus, which tops the group due to its superior goal difference, while Lyon is a point further back. And Sampaoli - reluctant to consider his team favourites against the point-less Croatians - is braced for a fixture that could see Sevilla pull clear of Lyon.

"It is a crucial match for us in the battle to reach the knockouts but it is also a last chance for Dinamo Zagreb to stay in contention," Sampaoli said. "It will be a very difficult match for us. I don't think we are favourites – we are a good team with quality individuals but we don't want to consider ourselves favourites."

"We have to act as a team and that's the only way we can win. Dinamo have a reputation in Europe – Croatian players are well known and I have great respect for them."

Dinamo boss Ivaylo Petev - taking charge of his first Champions League game - added: "This will be a big match for all of us – it's time to enjoy the Champions League. We have to be totally focused in defence and attack, and if we are we will have a chance against Sevilla. But it won't be easy. You all know what they have achieved in the last three years."

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