Kick-off: 19:45 (BST)
Dynamo Kyiv coach Jozsef Szabo has told his players they “cannot be scared” when they face in-form Manchester United tonight.
“We can’t simply talk about going out and beating United, that would be stupid,” he said. “They consistently prove they’re among the best teams in the world, and are coached by one of the best and longest-serving managers in the world. If my players stick to the game plan we can be successful against United; if not, they could punish every little error.”
Dynamo have won three out of four Ukrainian Premier League matches since Szabo toook over in September, including Saturday’s 1-0 home victory against Zakarpattya Uzhgorod which moved them to within seven points of the summit. They are also off the pace in Europe following defeats to Roma and Sporting Lisbon.
“Players cannot be scared when they’re on the pitch,” Szabo said. “Being nervous is one thing and quite normal at the start of a big game, but we shouldn’t be so scared of United that our knees knock together. We’re at home and can show our full potential, even against them.”
Szabo welcomes back two key figures – centre-back Pape Diakhate and striker Ismaël Bangoura.
United manager Sir Alex Ferguson hailed Saturday’s 4-1 triumph at Aston Villa as “probably our best performance of the season” and received another boost on Monday when Serbia centre-half Nemanja Vidi? was cleared to play following concussion.
The Premier League champions have takebn maximum points fro their two opening and are looking for an early passage into the knockout rounds.
“The best thing to do is to try and approach the game trying to win it because the rewards are great for us,” Sir Alex said. “They will be wanting to win the match and I expect them to have a go. We see it as an opportunity because Roma and Sporting have a double-header. From our point of view we hope they take points off each other.”
The rapidly developing Wayne Rooney-Carlos Tevez partnership drew praise from both coaches.
“I can’t say how we’re going to handle them as that’s a secret,” Szabó said. “What I can say is the days of the old Soviet style of football have gone and there’ll be no man-marking.”
Ferguson added: “They’re exceptionally good footballers, are strong and a real threat to defenders. They have to be in consideration simply because their form is so good. We may go with three players in the middle, as we did in Lisbon. That is certainly a possibility.”