Football News

Malaga brace for Champions League debut

Created on 17 Sept., 2012 7:59 PM GMT

Malaga finished fourth in La Liga last season - their highest ever league finish - and beat Greek side Panathinaikos in the qualifying play-offs last month.

Off-season signing Javier Saviola was one of the many acquisitions during a busy transfer period and stressed the importance of Malaga's opener with Zenit.

"To start well is very important, to begin with a victory it is very important for the following games because we play at home," Saviola said.

"I think to start well against a great rival, and to win will be important for the team and make us ready for the rest of the games that are coming in the next few games.

"This is important for a player and to play in the Champions League is always one of the most beautiful competitions and tomorrow we have to be very aware because we play against a very difficult team and they will want to pass throughout, so we will try to be ready for the game."

In a Group C also containing AC Milan and Anderlect, Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini said there would be no easy games.

"I think we have to be careful against Anderlecht too. They are not playing in Champions League by chance," Pellegrini said.

"There are very three difficult teams like in the other groups; either big names of clubs with potential.

"Others have a great history like Zenit, who have twice been champions in Russia and they have signed good players, but we won't be thinking about other teams - it would be a mistake.

"The three rivals are very difficult ones. Two years ago, when I played in Villarreal, nobody beat us and we reached the semi-finals and quarter-finals, but tomorrow is Zenit and they will all be difficult teams."

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