These sides are crossing their ways once more after they did so ten months ago with the local heroes cruising to a great 3:2 win. “That was something unique for us” recalls Brazilian spiker Idi. “However, we do not want to look back; we just want to look forward and stay focused”.
The “Häfler” started out their campaign with an away win this past Wednesday in Innsbruck and the Russian giant is also on full swing after edging Knack ROESELARE of Belgium in straight sets in the first round. “Zenit is out of reach for any of the teams included in this group, so we shall not expect too much from this game” says head coach Stelian Moculescu. “We just have to display a good performance”.
Bulgarian-born Ventceslav Simeonov – who plays as diagonal player for VfB this season – has got some memories linked to Zenit as back in 2008 he sustained an injury and could not play the final match of that edition with his former club Copra PIACENZA, watching the game from the stands of the “Mosir” hall in Lodz. “I am glad that I have this chance to play against Zenit as it was not nice at all to see your team lose and not being able to help” says Simenonov.
This will be the fifth time that Zenit and VfB play each other in the Champions League. Even though the German side got this win last year, the other three matches all ended in clear 3:0 wins for the club from Tatarstan. For VfB it will be very important to receive good to be able to stand the challenge of the Russian block with some quick attacks. This is a very difficult task especially since the Russian side already has the right chemistry given that the only major change in the roster is the addition of US American Matthew Anderson for his compatriot Reid Priddy.
“If we manage to receive well and pressure with our serves, we can perhaps keep it open. We would be a little pretentious if we started speculating about something more. We need to keep a sense of realism” concludes Moculescu.
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