Sunday, September 23, 2007

Match Day: Fenerbahce vs. Bursaspor

Match Day: Fenerbahce vs. Bursaspor
By Nathan L. Redd

Fenerbahce and Bursaspor will square off later today in Bursa, with both teams having a lot to prove. Fenerbahce is coming off a huge win in the UEFA Champions League over Inter Milan, but their success has not always translated to the Turkcell Super Lig. Fenerbahce has gotten off to a less-than-stellar start in the domestic league, but the team know it's too early to worry. Zico is hoping the confidence gained from their win over Inter Milan will teach the team how good they can be when their best effort is put forth.

Bursaspor has been a club in turmoil recently. The team's players revolted recently over a lack of pay, causing the Bursaspor chairman and members of the board to resign last week. Up-and-coming manager Bulent Korkmaz has stated he will stay on board in Bursa despite the upheaval. Korkmaz is considered one of the top coaches in the Super Lig, after rebuilding Kayseri Erciyesspor and earning them a place in the UEFA Cup. Korkmaz stated last week "The fans' support to me in the Istanbul Municipality game, their chanting in favor of me increased my excitement about Bursaspor." At his press conference, Korkmaz added "I spoke to my players and I am convinced that glorious days are not far away."

Despite the big win over Inter, Fenerbahce cannot afford to take any Turkish opponent lightly. Their lack of success in the early weeks of the Super Lig could indicate a lack of focus in the domestic games, but the season is early and the team can certainly turn things around. Korkmaz also knows that a win over the Turkcell Super Lig champs could mean a sea change for Bursaspor. “The upcoming Fenerbahçe game is very important,” said Korkmaz. “Everybody will concentrate on this match, everybody will live the game and feel the game. We must leave the problems aside and focus on victory, of course with the magnificent support of our supporters.”

Fenerbahce and Bursaspor kick off later today at 20:30 in Bursa (1:30 PM EST in the U.S.).

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