Sergei to crack Norse code?
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Sergei Rebrov will play his first game since mid-April when he lines-up alongside Andriy Shevchenko for the Ukraine against Norway on Saturday.
The formidable pairing, for a long time a club item for Dynamo Kiev, will be hoping to extinguish the final flickering flames of Norway’s World Cup qualification campaign.
Sergei’s season ended early with a hamstring injury, but he narrowly missed recovering in time for the final game of the season against Manchester United. The gap between the close of the club season and the summer internationals allowed the striker ample time to top up his fitness.
While Norway’s paucity of points is well documented, the highly-regarded Ukraine are well aware of the need to register a full three-point quota from this match to put the pressure on Belarus in second place.
Sergei’s countrymen have only managed two wins so far in their qualification crusade — over Armenia and Norway, while they have shared the spoils with Wales and Belarus and lost to Poland.
Belarus have emerged as the surprise package in second place on ten points, with Poland heading the field on 13.
Ukraine are adrift on eight points and need to win against Norway and Wales in the coming week.
Shevchenko scored the goal that accounted for Norway in a 1-0 win in October and Sergei is hoping for a repeat performance on home soil.
“Yeah of course, I hope to beat Leo and Steffen’s team again,” said Sergei.“It’s a very important game for us, we are now third from the top and we must win these two games.”
Sergei, who is likely to come up against club mate Leo, knows full well that Norway’s need for points is greater than his team.
“Of course, for the Norway game, it is very important for us - but Norway have got just two pointsÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¢ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…Â¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¬ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¦”
By Richard Hubbard