Murat Yakin, FC Basel head coach: “It`s an unpredictable match, but we’re going to make it hot”

Basel head coach Murat Yakin said at his pre-match press conference on Wednesday evening that the Swiss are ready to hold back Zenit’s attack for all 90 minutes.

Murat Yakin, FC Basel head coach: “It`s an unpredictable match, but we’re going to make it hot”

— Do you have any special ideas about the match?
— I haven’t thought much about that yet. I have just a few thoughts. In fact, we have a good chance after our home game. We’ve seen the pitch now, and I think it will be a cold game. The pitch is frozen. Nevertheless, it will be interesting.

— Mohamed Elneny felt unwell on the flight to St. Petersburg. Will he be able to play in the match?
— We have to wait and see. I went up to him more than once during the flight to see how he felt, and he said he felt pretty good. It's not that dramatic. But I wouldn’t like to make any guesses. We’ll see on Thursday.

— Has Elneny’s situation made it harder for you to prepare for the match?
— That’s football, and in football you have to take quick decisions. We were forced to delay our practice in St. Petersburg by two hours, but considering that we have a time difference with St. Petersburg, I think it didn’t hurt the players. The late start compensates for the time difference.

— Can Marco Streller take part in the match?
— Marco is doing well. He feels much better now. I think tomorrow he’ll come on and play. He’s our captain and a very important player for us.

— Many Russian experts feel that Zenit’s match in Basel was the worst the team has played this season. Would you still point out any specific Zenit players?
— The result of the game in Basel was largely dependent on us, not only on Zenit. We played well, and executed our chances, and were aggressive. We were able to score two goals. It’s a pity we didn’t score more, but two is good too. Now we have to be strong for another 90 minutes, or maybe even 120.

— Nobody knows if the match will last for 90 or 120 minutes. Did you talk about this when you prepared for the match?
— When you play at this level, it's hard. We have a young team, but they’re experienced. So far we know how to play good football. Of course, playing at home helps, but we’re going to play well at Petrovsky too.

— In Basel you talked a lot about how Zenit is the favorite. Has your opinion changed now after playing them at home?
— I think that Zenit has just a good a chance as we do. Nothing is impossible. But we’re going to make it hot, and the game will be just as unpredictable for as for Zenit.