Palermo vs CSKA Moscow Preview
Palermo coach Delio Rossi has warned his players of the big threat CSKA Moscow pose.
Leonid Slutski's men have won both of their Group F matches to emerge as the early leaders, however Palermo can join them on six points by making the best of home advantage.
Rossi knows CSKA are proving prolific scorers in Europe, with a 3-0 win at Lausanne followed by a 3-0 triumph over Sparta Prague.
"I believe this is not only the most challenging game of the group, but also of other groups," said Rossi. "CSKA are one of the strongest teams in this competition.
"They go into this game on the back of six straight wins and I don't feel shame in saying that CSKA are stronger than us.
"We have less European experience than them but I hope this will change in the future."
Palermo head into Thursday's encounter riding a four-match winning streak.
Sunday's 4-1 triumph over Bologna, their first league win at home this season, lifted the Sicilians to sixth in Serie A.
Rossi's men have won both of their home games in Europe this season without conceding a goal and know the importance of tomorrow's clash.
"This game is crucial to qualify to the next stage of the competition," said Rossi. "We will play in front of our fans and we hope to take three points."
The Italians will have to keep a close eye on CSKA's strike-force of Seydou Doumbia and Vagner Love.
"They are very good players and very dangerous," said Rossi. "They can strike at any time and we will have to limit our mistakes."
Palermo will have to be focused from start to finish, with five of CSKA's six group goals coming after the hour mark.
The hosts will be without injured trio Fabrizio Miccoli, Fabio Liverani and Nicola Rigoni.
Moreover, Slovenian midfield pair Armin Bacinovic and Josip Ilicic are not eligible to play in UEFA competition this season.