TASS, November 6th. Football club “Lokomotiv” on Tuesday will play in the fourth match of the Champions League group stage against the “Port”. Railway workers will try to interrupt a series of three defeats in the main European Cup, but a draw or a victory by an opponent will leave theoretical chances for the wards of Yuri Semin to fight for a place in the playoffs.
Match “Porto” – “Lokomotiv” will be held at the stadium “Dragau”. Beginning – 23:00 Moscow time, the game will be served by the Italian brigade of arbitrators headed by David Massa. The railwaymen are in last place in Group D after three defeats in a row from German vice-champion Schalke 0: 1, Turkish Galatasaray (0: 3) and Porto (1: 3), having zero points in their assets . The Portuguese are in first place, scoring seven points after three matches.
After defeating Porto in the home match of the Champions League, Lokomotiv scored three wins in a row, twice defeating Yenisei with a score of 3: 0 and 4: 1 (in the championship and Russian Cup), as well as Tula Arsenal (3: one). Having won in the 13th round of the club from Tula, Muscovites climbed to the second line in the standings of the Russian championship. The backlog from Petersburg “Zenith” – the leader of the Russian Premier League (RPL) – is seven points.
For wards Semin guest game against the “Port” is largely decisive. To keep the real chances of getting into the playoffs of the Champions League, they need to win. A draw or a defeat will make this opportunity ghostly. Lokomotiv is five points behind Schalke in second place, and Galatasaray, which is on the third line giving the right to play in the playoffs of the Europa League, four points.
Despite the difficult standings, the head coach of Lokomotiv said that he was optimistic about the upcoming game. “You never have to give up, I’m an optimist. There were cases when we left the group with seven points, we need to score these points, improve our game, eliminate elementary mistakes for which we were punished. We lost to Schalke in the last minutes, the match with Porto should also have taken points, ”Semin’s official UEFA website quotes.
Portuguese striker Lokomotiv Eder at a pre-match press conference, said that the team approaches the game in a positive mood. “In the last three games we could score more points. In the match against Porto, we will try to take our own and prove that we are still alive and continue to fight. If we talk about pressure, we cope with it, all the players are positive and look forward to the match "said Eder.
In the upcoming meeting, Polish defenders Maciej Rybus and Solomon Kverkvelia, as well as Russian midfielder Alexander Kolomeitsev, will not be able to help the railway workers. Responding to a question about the composition, Semin stressed that the coaching staff of the Moscow team will decide after the pre-match training session.
“We have a very complicated calendar, now it’s difficult to understand who is in what condition. Due to the heavy workload, the players have a lot of minor damage. We will take a decision on the composition after the pre-match training session,” the specialist emphasized.
“Porto” should concentrate as much as possible on the opponent
In contrast to the “Locomotive”, which is fighting for continued participation in European competition, “Porto”, having beaten Muscovites, almost guarantees itself participation in the 1/8 finals of the Champions League. To do this, in the remaining matches the Portuguese will be enough to score two points.
The Mexican midfielder of the Portuguese team, Jesus Crown, said that his team is only set to win. "We are pleased with our standings and will do our best in tomorrow's match to earn three points. Each game is decisive for our team, we are always determined to win and do not make plans for the future. We believe that we will win tomorrow," said Crown on pre-match press conference.
After nine rounds, Porto, headed by 43-year-old Sergius Conceição, takes first place in the Portuguese Championship, gaining 21 points and ahead of Braga due to the best difference between goals scored and goals conceded. In the upcoming match, the Portuguese will not be able to help the injured Cameroonian striker Vincent Abubacar.
At the pre-match press conference, Conceisau underlined that the game could be much more difficult than in Moscow. “I think that tomorrow’s meeting can be more difficult for us than a match in Russia. However, all this should not prevent us from earning three points,” said the coach.
“We focus on tactics so that the players understand not only the team’s goals, but also their personal settings. Statistics do not matter. We should focus on tomorrow’s match and our opponent as much as possible,” Conceiçau added.