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Zenit coach Mancini, on his guard for ‘typically Dutch’ FC Utrecht

Zenit coach Mancini, on his guard for ‘typically Dutch’ FC Utrecht

Photo: Getty Images

Roberto Mancini is aware that his Zenit Saint Petersburg is still not assured of a ticket for the group stage of the Europa League. The Italian coach is expecting a heavy diptych with FC Utrecht.

The Russians fight with Utrecht for a place in the main draw. The dual meet is Wednesday kicked off with the heenduel in the Utrecht Galgenwaard stadium.

Of underestimation of the Zenit side is not there, emphasises Mancini at his press conference before the first game. “We come here of course to win, but I don’t think Utrecht are merely acquiescent.”

“It is a very difficult race,” predicts the Italian, who since this summer is the ruler in the UEFA Cup winner of 2008. “But nothing is impossible, so I hope on a positive result.”

Typical Dutch

Mancini thinks that he knows what he can expect of Utrecht. “They play a typical Dutch”, he analyzes. “And it is always difficult against Dutch teams.”

“They play very open football and find a lot of the attack. It is a good team with a good coach, so it is sure to be quite a chore,” predicts Mancini.

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Also his captain, the experienced Branislav Ivanovic, is on guard for the danger of Utrecht. “We face a serious opponent,” the Serbian defender, who last winter happened to Chelsea.

That Mancini, his team well-prepared is evident from the words of Ivanovic, who knows he is good in the holes. “We think that Cyriel Dessers their most dangerous player is, but they have two or three good players and it is just a good team.”

Trust

Still missing the Zenit not to trust. The club from Saint-Petersburg state undefeated at the top of the Premjer Liga and won the last weeks with large numbers. “That is, of course, for a lot of trust,” says Ivanovic.

Mancini watches, however, too much confidence in his players. “The most important thing is that we do everything and a hundred percent,” says the ex-coach of Internazionale and Manchester City.

The meeting between FC Utrecht and Zenit in The Galgenwaard starts Wednesday at 18: 00. The return is on Thursday 24 August in St. Petersburg.

Watch the program in the play-offs of the Europa League

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