November 8, 2012
Hajiyev craving elusive win
Team Stat Comparison
|Neftchi||FK Rubin Kazan|
|Goals for *||0.7||1.3|
|Goals against *||1.7||1.0|
|Last 5 home||D-L-L-D||W-W-L-W-W|
|Last 5 away||D-L-D-W||L-D-W-D-W|
|* Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club|
|Stats: Neftchi | FK Rubin Kazan|
Neftchi boss Boyukaga Hajiyev says his side will be gunning for their first Europa League group stage victory when they host Rubin Kazan in their Group H match on Thursday.
The visitors head to Azerbaijan knowing victory over Neftchi could be enough to secure a place in the last 32 of the Europa League with two group matches to spare.
Rubin and Inter Milan are dominating Group H with seven points each from three matches and both teams will qualify for the knock-out stages if they win on the road.
Rubin are looking to complete the double over Neftchi, having beaten them 1-0 at home with a goal from Alan Kasaev.
While Rubin's away form in Europe needs to improve, Neftchi have managed just one victory from their last five home European games - a 3-0 win against FC Zestafoni in this season's Champions League second qualifying round.
However, Hajiyev is not concerned by their position within the group or by his as boss.
"In my contract with the club there is not a clause that I have to win all the matches,'' he told reporters.
"But we are adjusted to fight regardless of the opponent. An example of this is our lack of draws in the current championship.
"Tomorrow I'm going to shift gears and play with two strikers.
"Unfortunately, we do not have such a large choice of players like Rubin.
"In the Europa League we play better in the second half than we do in the first.
"The fact that Rubin have beaten Barcelona does not frighten us. Tomorrow we will try to earn our first win in the group stage.''
And Brazilian midfielder Flavin believes they can cause an upset over their Russian opponents.
"We will have a special feeling,'' he told reporters.
"There is a reason: a draw or defeat will deprive the team of any chance of further progress in the Europa League.
"We hope to continue to fight in the tournament. I hope the fans will support us.''