Steaua Bucurest host Fiorentina knowing that only a win can bring them a consolation place in the UEFA Cup.
Neither side have won a match in a section dominated by Bayern Munich and Lyon, but Fiorentina’s three points, compared with the one earned by Steaua, means the pressure is on the Romanian club.
They will also have to cope with the absence of Brazilian striker Arthuro who, along with Spanish midfielder Abel Moreno, ended his contract by mutual agreement on Tuesday.
Dorinel Munteanu, who replaced Marius Lacatus as coach after Steaua’s 5-3 home defeat by Lyon on Matchday 3, made it clear he was more interested in the outcome than the entertainment value.
“We will play with confidence and the desire to qualify,” he said. “Only strong teams qualify and it is less important how nice you play. The result is all that counts.”
Munteanu is without suspended central defender Dorin Goian, while midfielder Janos Szekely is out through and defender George Ogararu and forward Pantelis Kapetanos are both doubtful.
Though Fiorentina know it will be more important to defend well than to score, the attention is bound to be upon their Romanian striker Adrian Mutu.
Munteanu said: “I hope Mutu will be respected by the Romanian fans, because he is a national team player.”
Fiorentina Coach Cesare Prandelli does not expect Fiorentina to sit back in the hope of securing a draw.
“In recent years, this team has always gone out to win matches and I’d prefer to see a team that walks out tomorrow with the same desire,” he said.
“We know it will be difficult but we’re not frightened. We’ll be up against a really motivated side, but then so are we.”
Prandelli is without injured duo Dario Dainelli and Massimo Gobbi, while forward Pablo Daniel Osvaldo is doubtful with a thigh problem.