Semin sees Kiev as final material

BY foxsports • April 6, 2011

Semin's side will have reason to be confident ahead of their quarter-final first leg against Braga as they are unbeaten at home in Europe this season. The order of the legs has been reversed since the original draw and Kiev will be hoping to take advantage by continuing their formidable home form, which has seen them lose only once in 18 home games this season. And Semin told A Bola he believes his team have a great chance of going all the way this year. "We are not just favourites in the round, we are the favourites to reach the final," he said. He did, however, suggest that Braga have improved since their Champions League performances earlier in the season. "SC Braga has little to do with the team that played against Shakhtar and had some problems early in the tournament. It's a different team, for the better, who were able to eliminate Liverpool and have won games in the Liga," he said. Braga themselves will be buoyed by Kiev's poor historical record against Portuguese opposition, with seven defeats in 10 ties, and the fact that the hosts will be missing inspirational midfielder Milos Ninkovic and have doubts over first-choice goalkeeper Oleksandr Shovkovskiy. They reached this stage after finishing third in their Champions League group despite winning half of their games, including a 2-0 victory over Arsenal, and then eliminating Lech Poznan before causing a huge upset with that defeat of Liverpool. Kiev also saw off English opposition in the last round, beating Manchester City 2-1 on aggregate. They topped their group, losing only once against Sheriff Tiraspol, before hammering Besiktas 8-1 over two legs to set up the tie against City.

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