Originally written on Fox Soccer  |  Last updated 10/25/14
Football__football_958a
Zenit St Petersburg coach Luciano Spalletti accepts his side cannot afford to be second best against Liverpool on Thursday in their Europa League last-32 first-leg tie. The Russian champions have not played a competitive match since mid-December because of the break in the domestic season, but Spalletti does not view that as an excuse. "We can't play as number two. We'll play an intense match, aggressively," he said. "We'll put out players that are most capable of scoring and winning the game - the best players - and we will play to win." Unlike in the group stage, when Liverpool left captain Steven Gerrard at home for the clash with Anzhi in Moscow, Reds boss Brendan Rodgers has travelled with a virtually fully-strength side. Spalletti is aware of the danger posed by Gerrard, who has impressed in recent weeks, and leading scorer Luis Suarez. "If a player like Gerrard is allowed more time than necessary to think, he can play any pass he wants," the Italian added. "If our defe...
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