Werder Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf has stressed that his side will give Champions League debutants Anorthosis all the respect they deserve when the clubs meet in the Weserstadion.
The Bremen boss was impressed by the Cypriot’s side disposal of Olympiakos in the third qualifying round after a 3-0 first-leg win.
“Olympiakos made life really hard for us last season,” said Schaaf. “By beating them 3-0, Anorthosis showed they must be taken seriously – just like any other club that manage to qualify for the Champions League.”
Anorthosis coach Temuri Ketsbaia is relishing the prospect of leading the side into Europe’s most prestigious competition.
“It is a huge occasion for us,” said Ketsbaia.
“It is an honour to be part of the UEFA Champions League. It was a historic achievement to qualify for the competition and we are delighted to be part of it.”
“I was here with FC Dinamo Tbilisi 20 years ago – it’s a great stadium,” said the 40-year-old.
“Unfortunately, we lost that match 2-1 but hopefully we can get a better result this time.”
Their task will not be helped by the absence of injured trio Predrag Ocokoljic Lambros Lambrou and Ioannis Skopelitis, while Sinisa Dobrasinovic will miss the match through suspension.
Bremen approach the fixture full of confidence having swept aside Energie Cottbus 3-0 at the weekend.
“We want to get a good result for ourselves and for our fans,” said the 47-year-old, “and the Cottbus match showed we are on the right track.”
“The Champions League gives you the chance to play against the best teams in Europe and it would be dreadful if that became normality,” he explained. “It will always be something special.”