Golden chance for Spartak Moscow

Although Spartak Moscow may have had a disappointing season in the Russian Premier League, the team has a golden opportunity to reach the knockout stages of the UEFA Cup this evening.

A win against Dutch side NEC Nijmegen could see them through, and coach Michael Laudrup is predicting an attacking game of football.

The Spartak boss will be looking for some of the type of football that made his name as a player, as the red and whites try to rescue a dreadful 2008 League campaign with success in Europe.

A win for Spartak would leave their hopes of qualifying for the knock out phase looking very healthy indeed.

That would put them on 6 points level with Tottenham and Udenesi. However, the Italians can pull ahead if they get anything at home to Dinamo Zagreb.

NEC Nijmegen are coming to Russia without a single point in UEFA Cup group D. But they are currently riding high in the Dutch top flight, and arrive off the back of a mammoth 6-0 win over FC Voledam at the weekend.

Michael Laudrup's injury- plagued squad suffered another setback this week with the news that Clemente Rodriguez has joined the likes of Mozart, Bystrov and Kovaks on the treatment table.

Laudrup has a European cup winners medal in his trophy cabinet and the manager knows just how important playing in Europe is.

“We are all talking about coming into Europe, and when you are there you have to do whatever you can,” he said. “That's why the game for us is very important.”

Related links

KHL Hockey: mass brawls on night of high-scoring action 
UEFA Cup: Moscow clubs get vital wins