After a first leg 1-1 draw, Partizan is home to Sochi on Thursday (9pm CET kick-off) as part of Conference League round 3 return leg fixtures.
Ivan Obradovic (knee) is still out of contention. Aleksandar Mijkovic (hamstring) trained this week for the first time. Nemanja Jovic (knee) is closing on his return while Marko Zivkovic (knock) is expected to be in contention. Igor Vujacic and Slobodan Urosevic are both one booking away from one-match suspension.
Partizan boss Aleksandar Stanojevic and winger Lazar Markovic attended pre-match press-conference.
-We are playing European game in front of our fans and we know only win can secure us passage to the next round. We want to continue with our streak of good results and I hope we can go through to the play-off stage.
It`s still a fifty-fifty tie. In Serbia, we always think we are the best in this world but Sochi is playing in one extremely strong league. We want support from our fans while we will push them to support us with our performance on the field. Our fans and home ground can be a bit of an advantage for us, but it`s still very much fifty-fifty.
We will practice penalty-kicks today or tomorrow morning. We just have to. All that is part of football practice.
Sochi is a fit team, league they play in is more intensive and stronger compared to ours. They are used to strong pace but I don`t know if they are more fit than us. I believe we will surpass our expectations running-wise. It`s about more desire and energy.
There`ll be minimal changes to our line-up. Lutovac played great whenever he was fielded so he is more likely to start. We need more attacking-oriented players and Lutovac is just the one. We might opt for more attacking defensive midfielder too. In general, this is the best team we have – sometimes we deliberately start with one player and sub him with another later on. We think about Jojic and his set-pieces. Scekic has minor problems with his long-term minor injury but we will make decisions right before the kick-off.
Some say Sochi is a lucky team. There`s no luck in football. You might get lucky to draw a certain team but I do not believe in luck on football field. Sochi won all Russian greats at home, apart from Zenit.
-Russians are a good team, with quality individuals but we are good too, even better than them. We are on a good run and we need this win. That`s how we are going to play, looking to continue our streak. Personally, I hope I can keep my good early form.
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