Zenit St Petersburg manager Mircea Lucescu has warned that Airtricity League Premier Division champions Dundalk have nothing to lose in Thursday night's Europa League clash in Russia.
Stephen Kenny's Lilywhites - boosted by the call-ups of Daryl Horgan and Andy Boyle to Martin O'Neill's Republic of Ireland squad - play a multi-million pound team packed with internationals in a wintry St Petersburg.
However, the Russians' veteran Romanian coach said their opponents were strong and well-organised and had already shown ability at this level.
"I expect tomorrow to be a very difficult match," Lucescu said. "They have nothing to lose; only to win. Zenit have a lot of things to lose in this."
Lucescu said Dundalk played well when they drew with Dutch outfit AZ Alkmaar and beat Israelis Maccabi Tel Aviv during earlier Group D games, as well as for 70 minutes in the first fixture against Zenit in Dublin.
The Lilywhites took the lead against Zenit before eventually succumbing 2-1. Lucescu said Dundalk did not play in a British style, but more in a European fashion.
"It will not be easy. The players are really skilful," he said. "It is a good team, a serious team."
Zenit are full of attacking threat. Russian international striker Aleksandr Kerzhakov said he was aiming to help his side win and was feeling fit and confident.
He acknowledged that Dundalk played powerful football and said the first match was difficult.
"We have great expectations and have a good standing. The aim for tomorrow is to win - just to win," he said.