Thursday, November 23, 2006

UEFA Cup Gameday: Palermo

Following the disappointing 0-0 draw vs. Besiktas, Fenerbahce looks to regroup on Thursday vs. Italian side Palermo in UEFA Cup action. Fenerbahce is expected to be at full strength, with the exception of GK Rustu Recber and Umit Ozat, who has a strained groin as a result of the Besiktas match.

Fener officials hope for a raucous, intimidating home-pitch advantage at Sukru Saracoglu on Thursday. This is the first of two initial home matches for Fenerbahce in the beginning of UEFA Cup action. Palermo is coming off a disappointing loss to Italian rivals Cagliari. Despite the loss, Palermo currently sits atop the Italian Serie A, sharing the lead with Inter Milan at the moment. Fener's first game in the UEFA Cup resulted in a loss to Newcastle United, but the lineup changes at the time by Zico were considered to be a turning point for Fenerbahce. After the loss to Newcastle, Fener went on a string of impressive wins and offensive performances. Palermo also lost to Newcastle recently.

Today's expected lineup for Fenerbahce is: Volkan Demirel, Ugur Boral, Edu Dracena, Diego Lugano, Onder Turaci, Deniz Baris, Stephen Appiah, Mehmet Yozgatli, Tuncay Sanli, Alex de Souza, and Mateja Kezman.

Following their second consecutive 0-0 draw, Fener hopes to regain its momentum against one of Italy's best sides. The team will need renewed confidence in this game, as they head into the always-heated battle with rivals Trabzonspor this weekend in Turkcell Super Lig action.


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