Cypriot outsiders Anorthosis Famagusta will be quaking in their boots ahead of Wednesday's trip to Italian champions Inter Milan in the UEFA Champions League. The minnows have surprised everyone by taking four points from their first two Group B matches, but Inter are a totally different proposition to Werder Bremen and Panathinaikos.
Jose Mourinho's team warmed up for the match with a stunning 4-0 thrashing of Serie A title rivals AS Roma at Rome's Stadio Olimpico. And although Inter have match winners all over the pitch, the player who will worry Temuri Ketsbaia's team the most is Sweden's Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
He scored twice against Roma, the first a delicate lob from outside the area and the second a firm low strike into the corner, and has been on fire this season, setting up both Inter's goals in their 2-0 victory over Panathinaikos. And Ibra, as he is known in Italy, is hoping to take the confidence gleaned from the Roma match into midweek European action. "This was just one match, we play one match at a time, we did well," he said of the Roma result. "Now we have the Champions League and hope to do well there."
Mourinho, formerly of Chelsea and FC Porto, also believes that Ibra is a nightmare for any defence. "He's an incredible player who can play in any system, it doesn't matter," he said. "Ibrahimovic is great at finding space between the lines so he can shoot from distance. (Against Roma) he played with (Sulley) Muntari and (Dejan) Stankovic, higher up than the two wingers, who stayed close to him. But he can play well in the same way also with (Mario) Balotelli and Adriano. It's a pleasure to coach him and his team-mates also love him."
The omens are good for Inter, despite the fact that they struggled the only other time the faced Cypriot opposition in Europe. That was in the 1993/94 UEFA Cup which Inter went on to win after narrowly beating Apollon Limassol 4-3 on aggregate in the second round.
For their part, Anorthosis cannot do any worse than their previous clashes against Italian opposition, both times in the UEFA Cup. In 1992/93 they were trounced 10-1 on aggregate by Juventus in the first round, when current coach Temuri Ketsbaia scored their one goal. Three years ago they faced Palermo at the same stage, but went out 6-1 over the two legs.
But, as Cyprus's first representatives in the group stages of this competition, they are playing for pride as well as any hopes of progression. Their fine start to the competition has got fans excited, but there is a word of caution from chairman Andreas Panteli. He is not getting carried away by his team's dream start, in which they drew 0-0 in Bremen and then beat Panathinaikos 3-1 at home, and that after knocking out Olympiakos in the last qualifying round.
"Nothing can become a reality unless you work hard. It needs a big effort to make dreams come true. Nothing has been decided yet," said Panteli. "We are looking for a good performance and to do ourselves justice, we'll take it from there and see what kind of result we can achieve. We have done very well with our performances so far and we achieved our initial targets but we expect to keep this good effort going until the very end."
A victory for either side would put them within touching distance of the knock-out round. Mourinho is banking on getting two wins from two against Famagusta, as he said after the Bremen game, as he expects to qualify for the second round before Inter's final match, away to Werder.