Slavia Prague coach Karel Jarolim has vowed that the Czech league leaders will do everything they can to wreck Sevilla’s hopes of topping Group H.
The Spanish side will seal top spot with victory in the Czech capital, but despite already being guaranteed a third-place finish and progress to the UEFA Cup, Slavia hope to conclude their first Champions League campaign with a win.
“Even if there’s nothing to play for from our point of view, we want to bow out of the competition with a good performance and a positive result,” said Jarolim. “We would like to avenge our defeat in Seville. We’re playing our last Champions League match in front of our own fans. That is a huge motivating factor.”
Slavia are still without captain and top scorer Stanislav Vlcek, who has a calf injury, and Jarolím also has concerns over Zdenek Senkerik.
“We’ll take every opportunity to attack, but we have to defend responsibly too,” said Jarolím. “We have to be a compact defensive unit. If we give Sevilla space, they could do some damage.”
Sevilla are without goalkeeper Andrés Palop who sustained a fractured finger at the weekend and is facing three months on the sidelines. It means Morgan De Sanctis will make his first Champions League appearance of the season.
Rested on Sunday, the influential Christian Poulsen should return to strengthen a midfield weakened by the suspensions of Seydou Keita and Adriano.
“It will be disappointing if we don’t win and fail to finish first,” said Sevilla coach Manuel Jimenez. “Of course it’s good for us that we beat Slavia the first time we played, but this is another game. We haven’t won it yet. Luck can be on both sides, not just on ours. So we have to be cautious.”