Tuesday, November 06, 2007

UEFA Match Day: Fenerbahce vs. PSV Eindhoven

UEFA Match Day: Fenerbahce vs. PSV Eindhoven
By Nathan L. Redd

Two weeks ago, Fenerbahce held strong with only ten men for much of the game to leave Holland with one point against PSV. For the second leg in Istanbul, Fener will be looking for a full three points and a clear path to advancement out of the group stage.

If Fenerbahce is to advance, they'll have to do with a short-handed squad. Their UEFA Champions League star Deivid de Souza is suspended for Wednesday's match, as is star defender Diego Lugano. Striker Mateja Kezman, goalkeeper Serdar Kulbilge, and key veteran Tumer Metin are all out with knee injuries.

On the other side of the pitch, PSV's losses start at the very top. Their manager, Ronald Koeman, left for Spain's Valencia, leaving Jan Wouters to manage the club on Tuesday. Wouters knows his time at PSV may be short, but he's hoping to make it a successful tenure. "Koeman went at a difficult time, for sure," Wouters said. "I am proud to coach PSV – maybe only for a short time" he told reporters.

Wouters told UEFA.com "Whenever possible we will look to attack, as we have to score. A 1-1 draw or more would benefit us on head-to-head record. Against Heerenveen we were sloppy when we had the ball, we lost it so easily and had to keep chasing it. Here we have to be more careful and keep possession for longer."

Zico knows that Fenerbahce will be short-handed, but the side still packs offensive firepower with Semih Senturk and Alex de Souza up top. He told reporters "I'm sure my other players will cover for Deivid and Lugano by putting in a great performance. From the start, we have tried to build a team that is able to overcome those kind of problems. As I have already said before, both teams are very strong, so this match will be very difficult. We, of course, want to win a great victory by defeating PSV Eindhoven."

Wednesday's referee will be Alain Hamer, with Francis Crelo, Christian Holtgen, and Luc Wilmes as his assistants. Kickoff is set for 21:45 (2:45 PM EST in the U.S.) from Sukru Saracoglu Stadium in Kadikoy.

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