Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Short-Handed Fener Ready for Sivasspor

When Fenerbahce takes the pitch today, we'll see a much different look from Zico's newly-revitalized offense. Among the 17-man roster, Zico has included five players from the youth ranks to assist the heavily-injured squad. Tuncay Sanli, Tumer Metin, Rustu Recber, Mateja Kezman, Edu Dracena, Alex de Souza, Stephen Appiah, and Diego Lugano will be unavailable for today's game. The injured list is practically an all-star squad of the Turkcell Super Lig. The eight unavailable players could probably defeat many teams by themselves.

Instead, Zico will have the use of Volkan Demirel, Serdar Kulbilge, Ümit Özat, Mehmet Yozgatlı, Marco Aurelio, Kerim Zengin, Can Arat, Önder Turacı, Semih Şentrürk, Deniz Barış, Kemal Aslan, Olcan Adın, Deivid de Souza, Mehmet Kutay Şenyıl, Umut Güzelses, Osman Kürşat Duman and Alper Balaban. Certainly a different roster than Fenerbahce fans are used to seeing.

I anticipate that this game today will only help us improve. Zico will get playing time from players who normally don't see the pitch often. Additionally, it affords Fener the opportunity to develop some of the young talent in their system. I expect a sloppy game due to the lack of chemistry, but I also expect a hard-fought game. Many of the infrequently-used players want a chance to prove themselves and earn playing time. The young players are hoping to make a name for themselves. As many of our starters watch the game from afar, the new guys will work hard to show they belong.

Kickoff is at 1 PM EST today in Sivas.


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