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Wednesday, 10 November 2010 08:28

Bruno Alves believes in Zenit ahead of title showdown

Trio on verge of glory

Portugal internationals Fernando Meira, Bruno Alves and Danny could win their first Russian championship on Wednesday night, as Zenit Saint-Petersburg look to wrap up the title with three games to spare.

Zenit host title rivals CSKA Moscow at the Petrovskij Stadium this evening knowing that a win will see them crowned national champions, while a draw would mean a nine-point advantage with three games remaining and 12-goal advantage on goal difference.

The league leaders were given a scare at the weekend when they went 2-0 down inside six minutes away to Sibir Novosibirsk. Luciano Spalletti’s men responded by running out 5-2 winners, with Danny among the goals as Zenit edged closer to regaining the title from back-to-back winners Rubin Kazan, who all but surrendered their crown with a 1-1 draw against Spartak Moscow on Monday.

“We knew that we would have a difficult match,” said former Porto stopper Alves of the Sibir game. “Obviously, Sibir is in a very difficult situation at the bottom of the standings. But we knew that we needed to win this match no matter what. We got the result we wanted in the end - victory. We need to win as many games as possible, to win the championship as soon as possible.”

Looking ahead to the crunch match with CSKA tonight, Alves insists he is confident in his team’s ability to get the result needed to secure glory. “CSKA are a good team, they are very capable. But I believe we are capable too. In fact, I am convinced that Zenit are stronger than any other team.

“Of course the win over Sibir helped our confidence. When you get off to a bad start in a game, in this case a two-goal disadvantage, and you turn it into a win, it shows that the team is united.

“The match against CKSA will be a very serious game between two teams that know their own worth. I think it will be a very good match. It will be difficult, of course, but I believe in our team and our fans. With their support we can move mountains.”

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