Partizan is gome to AC Sparta on Thursday (6.45pm CET kick-off) as part of UEFA Europa Conference League play-off stage return leg fixture. Our team won corresponding fixture 1-0.
Danilo Pantic (hamstring) is out for the remainder of the season. Ljubomir Fejsa (lack of match-fitness) and Aleksandar Miljkovic (return from injury) are doubtful.
Partizan boss Aleksandar Stanojevic on Thursday`s encounter:
-I can only say I`m proud of my players. This is our 14th European game of the season. We had various expectations at the beginning but the players really did well so far, well done to them. This will be a different game compared to Prague`s meeting. This is a knockout match and Sparta will risk more now. After the first leg win, we know imposed pressure on ourselves to go through to the next round but we want to make our fans happy and we need their support tomorrow.
Sparta is simply physically dominant. They have pace and it was really demanding game in Prague. Against Slavia, it was all about fighting spirit for them. We have our game plan but it all depends on individual performances of all involved. We might have an early goal in the game and lots of opportunities to follow, you never know. However, Sparta is an intensive side investing a lot of energy for the game.
They have players who can sign for top European clubs and offers of 20 million Euros for them, they have Czech internationals who know how to score in important European games. It doesn`t matter if you are 18, 19 or 28 years old. Sometimes, youth can be an advantage. We are very cautious as Sparta is one serious opponent. They won Rangers and Brondby, Slavia won Fenerbahce away, that says enough about Czech football. We cannot send threats or believe we are favourites to win the tie, we are not. Currently, our league is regarded 11th best in Europe and we are proud of it. We have confidence but we cannot talk about us as favourites in this tie.
Defender Nemanja Miletic also addressed journalists at the pre-match press:
-I`m only interested in us qualifying to the next round, in any possible way. Maybe the Czechs will be unburdened due to a first leg result. They had more rest as they didn`t play during the weekend but we should not be tricked by the first leg result.
Our emphasis will be on defensive and attacking set-pieces. I think we can threaten them from set-pieces but I really don`t care how we`re going to do it, as long as we do the job. I only care my team to go through to the next round.
PHOTO GALLERY: MIROSLAV TODOROVIC
PHOTO GALLERY: SANDIC PHOTOGRAPHY