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Do-or-die for Spartak against Benfica
Published : 23 Oct 2012 00:23:08
Spartak Moscow boss Unai Emery admits that his team face a do-or-die battle with Portuguese giants Benfica on Tuesday after losing both of their Group G matches so far.
Spartak are rock bottom of the table after losing to Spanish giants Barcelona and Scotland's Celtic by the same 3-2 scoreline.
"We have lost twice and now have no more space for retreat," Emery said. "We must beat Benfica to keep alive our chances of continuing in Europe after the Champions League group stage."
On Tuesday, Spartak will be without first-choice goalkeeper Andriy Dykan, defender Sergei Parshivlyuk and Brazilian midfielder Romulo.
Irish midfielder Aiden McGeady will also miss the match because of a foot injury while even back-up goalkeeper Sergei Pesiakov is a doubt, also due to a foot problem.
On Saturday, Spartak led Russian league leaders Anzhi Makhachkala before losing 2-1 with midfielder Kirill Kombarov sent off just after the interval and their Argentinian defender Juan Insaurralde scoring an own-goal in injury time.
Benfica, who clinched a 4-0 win in the third round of the Portuguese Cup on Thursday over second division side Freamunde, didn't play at the weekend.
Benfica's goals came from Lima, Oscar Cardoso, Eduardo Salvio and Andre Gomes.