Saturday, March 31, 2007

Fenerbahce, Alex de Souza Reportedly Close to Deal

Media reports out of Turkiye indicate that Fenerbahce and Brazilian star Alex de Souza are close to a new deal that would keep him in Kadikoy. Full details are not available just yet, but reports are that the new contract would be either for two or three years. Stay tuned as more details become available.

Is Fenerbahce Interested in Ze Roberto?

The transfer rumors are heating up quickly, and within the last week names like Roberto Carlos and John Carew have surfaced as being linked with transfers to Fenerbahce. Now you can add Ze Roberto to the list. Turkish media outlet Sabah reports that the Brazilian left winger may be on Fenerbahce's off-season transfer list. Roberto has been a star for Brazil at times, but has also had his share of struggles. He was one of the leaders of the Brazilian World Cup squads in 1998 and 2006, and scored for Brazil vs. Ghana in the previous World Cup. However, Roberto had a tough time with German outfit Bayern Munich, and left the squad to return to Brazil in 2006. Prior to the 2006-2007 season, he signed a one-year deal with Santos FC of Brazil.
As previously reported, Fenerbahce has become a hot name with Brazilian players, due to the signings of Alex de Souza, Edu Dracena, Deivid de Souza, etc. Fenerbahce also has a substantial following in Brazil due to manager Zico; a Brazilian futebol legend.
Stay tuned to see if anything develops on this situation.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Edu: "Brazil Knows The Greatness of Fenerbahce"

After the Thursday training session, Zico and Edu Dracena met with reporters and talked about the upcoming match vs. Ankaraspor, Fenerbahce's image in Brazil, and more. Speaking on FBTV, Zico talked about the previous Turkiye Euro 2008 qualifiers vs. Greece and Norway:

"I have already mentioned that the Norway match would be difficult for Turkiye because Norway plays better outside than they play in their country. They first made the score 2-0 but then they were scared and moved backwards, which of course helped Turkiye a lot. Turkiye succeeded to score 2 goals. The Greek match was also very important and the 3 points Turkiye got out of this match mean a lot for the leading position in the group. My players represented their country and Fenerbahce very well. It made me and the trainer of the National Team really happy. Appiah has a slight injury and it is hard for him to play this week but he is definitely going to be ready for the next match. All of my players make a great effort and try to do their best. The match against Ankaraspor is very important for us on the way to the championship. If we are going to be the champion, we have to win this game. It’s an advantage for us that we have our fans with us."

Regarding this weekend's Super Lig game vs. Ankaraspor, Zico stated "’If we are going to be the champion, we have to win this game." Fener hopes to get all of the international players back in the right mindset to pick up three points on Sunday. One of those international players was Edu Dracena, who spoke about his time with Brazil and Fenerbahce's image in his native country:

"It was a special feeling for me to be with the Brazilian National Team and with the players. We had a great time together. Now I’m back with Fenerbahce. I believe that with the performance I show here, I am going to get my position in the National Team. I hope that our trainer, Dunga, will invite me again for the next match. A lot of people were surprised to hear that I was invited to the National Team because they don’t know who I am. I was a question mark for them. Now after I was invited to the National Team, I hope that people start to respect me and my skills more. Everyone, including the trainer in the Brazilian National Team, knows about Fenerbahce and is aware of the greatness of Fenerbahce. They wanted to know more about Fenerbahce and asked me questions. I don’t care about what they write or say about me. I am only responsible to my president, my trainers and to the Fenerbahce fans. To make them happy is what I care about the most. I do my best for Fenerbahce. In the next 9 weeks I will also do everything I can for the team and I want to be the champion. Everyone knows the greatness of Fenerbahce. Ankaraspor match is difficult but also very important. We have to play really seriously in the match. From the first second on we have to show how much we want to win."

Kickoff for Fenerbahce vs. Ankaraspor is Sunday at 15:00 (8 AM EST in the U.S.).

Aston Villa's Carew in Fenerbahce's Plans?

Rumors began circulating this week that Fenerbahce may indeed be interested in Real Madrid's Roberto Carlos despite their previous statement. Additionally, John Carew of English side Aston Villa has reportedly become a target for Fenerbahce. The Norwegian star has played for French side Lyon, AS Roma, Spanish side Valencia, and previously played in Turkiye with Besiktas. The 27-year-old striker just came to Aston Villa from Lyon in January, and inked a 3.5-year deal with the English squad.
Additionally, some believe that Fenerbahce is still in the hunt for Roberto Carlos despite the club's statement that they have no interest. One unconfirmed report quoted Carlos's manager as saying (regarding a move to Kadikoy) "we are searching for a house. The only thing left is the signing of the contract."
Stay tuned for more details...

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Besiktas Chairman: "We Will Be Champions"

Excerpts from this article appear in Thursday's Turkish Daily News. To read the entire article, please visit
Beşiktaş Chairman Yıldırım Demirören asserted once again that his club would retain the Turkcell Super League title this season, as their current spirits are better than during their 100th anniversary, when they finished champion.

Speaking on Star TV's football show “Telegol Özel,” Demirören expressed his belief in his team, “I said it before and I'm saying it again. We are going to be the champions. There are no secret intentions behind that. I'm saying it because I believe in my squad.”

Yıldırım Demirören also commented on Beşiktaş striker İbrahim Akın, saying they were not considering to send him to another team. However, İbrahim might only be called back to the squad when he apologizes and takes his playing to a better level, Demirören added.

Coach Jean Tigana has left Black Eagles' troubled child out of the squad after the 23-year-old got angry at being substituted in the 40th minute of a friendly game. According to the Frenchman, İbrahim has psychological issues that have to be solved and only cares about horse races.

Demirören also found time to talk about former Beşiktaş stars Tümer Metin and Sergen Yalçın. “Though I always wish the best for him, Tümer has made the biggest mistake of his life. Beşiktaş's captain cannot be transferred to another team,” said Demirören. On the other hand, he was calmer regarding Sergen, “We offered making his jubilee but he rejected our offer. We have never been disloyal to him. He will always be Sergen of Beşiktaş.”

Mike Tyson Loves Turkiye?

In "news of the weird," it was reported in Thursday's Turkish Daily News that a Greek tavern owner who tried to break up a fight between customers watching Turkey's 4-1 win over Greece on Saturday had both ears bitten off, according to police. Owner Dimitris Tsibibakis intervened as scuffles erupted after a group of Bulgarians shouted slogans supporting Turkiye and locals told them to stop. "I tried to split them up and ended up on the floor with one of the Bulgarians biting one ear and another one chewing the other ear off." Tsibibakis is hospitalized.
En Buyuk Turkiye!

Fenerbahce Returns to Super Lig Action This Weekend

After a week off for international competition, Fenerbahce returns to Turkcell Super Lig action this weekend when the Leopards of Ankaraspor visit Sukru Saracoglu. Kick-off is slated for Sunday, April 1st at 15:00 (8 AM EST in the U.S.).
Ankaraspor currently sit in 8th place in the league with 34 points. They are, however, only four points behind 5th place Genclerbirligi. Fenerbahce sit atop the league with 51 points, six points up on 2nd place Besiktas. BJK must travel to Genclerbirligi this weekend, while 3rd place Galatasaray will be visiting Ankaragucu on Sunday.

Red Bull Salzburg In The Hunt For Roberto Carlos

A report out of Spain this morning states that Red Bull Salzburg is attempting to lure Real Madrid's Roberto Carlos. The 33-year-old Brazilian wing-back has stated that he will leave Madrid at the end of this season, and several published reports last week stated that he had already agreed to terms with Fenerbahce. Fenerbahce management later released a statement denying those reports.
Salzburg's wealthy owner Dietrich Mateschitz is hoping to ink Carlos to a two-year deal at the end of this season.

Appiah, Fener Management Squash Transfer Rumors

Reports surfaced earlier this week stating the Scottish side Glasgow Celtic are interested in the services of Fenerbahce and Ghana star Stephen Appiah. However, if Appiah has his way, he'll be wearing the navy blue and yellow stripes in the future. "I’m tired of these transfer rumours about me.’ He said that every time he goes out of the country, the media speculates that he is going to meet with a team. If I go to England for a national match, they say I’m seeing Arsenal or Portsmouth. My family lives in Italy. I visit them and they say I am speaking with the Italian clubs. First of all, I’m not looking for a team, others teams can look for me. I’m tired of these transfer rumours about me. Every time I left a club, I had good relations and wished them always well. I love Fenerbahce, Istanbul and the people here. If I leave Fenerbahce now, I will come and visit here and watch the matches. I love Fenerbahce that much. I’m not interested in what they write or say about me. All I think about is to be the champion and get the Turkish Cup. Nobody knows what is going to happen tomorrow. I’m here and I have contact with Fenerbahce till 2009. If there is an offer, the president and the administration will consider that."

Regarding his recent injury which sidelined him from the Ghana vs. Brazil match, Appiah said "I start my training today; my MRI results came back positive and I will be able to play next week." Regarding his position on the pitch, Appiah stated that "right wing is not my position but our trainer considers it to be tactically better for me to play there. He told me that I am an offensive player and that he wants me to play there. I will do whatever my trainer says."

Appiah re-stated his joy of playing futbol in Turkiye and speculated on the last leg of the season. "We have nine more matches to play and it is a long period, everything can change. We plan to continue being the leader and get our points. We will be the champion and our fans will be very happy. We shouldn’t think about Besiktas and Galatasaray right now." When speaking about playing during the centennial year of the club, Appiah said "I’m proud to be on the team of the 100th year of Fenerbahce. The Turkish Cup hasn’t been won for 24 years. It is really important for everyone to get this Cup. It will be a huge success. After I quit football, I will come here and visit the Fenerbahce Museum in the Stadium and see my pictures with cups."

Deivid de Souza Hoping to Fulfill His Contract With Fenerbahce

Fenerbahce Brazilian Deivid de Souza spoke with the media earlier this week, and used the opportunity to reiterate his desire to fulfill his contract with Fenerbahce, as well as talk up his teammate and fellow Brazilian Alex de Souza.
"I have a 3-year contract with Fenerbahce and I want to complete the time. I know that I can do better. I trust in myself, my talent and my technique.’ He also commented that he always started in the first eleven for his previous teams and believes the same will eventually be true in Kadikoy. "I believe that this will be the same in Fenerbahce. Now Kezman is playing and I’m working hard. I believe that I will get the chance to show what I can." He stated that he has received transfer offers during the break, but hoped to stay in Istanbul for the remainder of his contract. "’n January I received 4-5 offers from Brazil but my aim is to play here. I have a 3 years contract."
On the subject of Turkish futbol, he used the opportunity to speak highly of fellow teammate and Brazilian playmaker Alex de Souza. "I do not want to discuss this issue and I am not telling you this not because we play in the same team. Alex is the best Brazilian player in Turkiye. Look at his past, he scored more than 70 goals, and assisted even more in just 3 years. I also played with Ricardinho from Besiktas but I think Alex is the best." On the state of Turkish futbol, Deivid commented that "(Turkish futbol) is based on power but in Brazil futebol’s basic is the technique. Now we are here and we have to get use to it. I try to adapt. My turkish friends help me in the trainings to get use to the system."

Zico: "I Will Try To Make This Team A Champion"

With the week off from Super Lig competition and many players involved in national team play, Fenerbahce boss Zico spoke with the media earlier this week. Speculation has been circulating lately about possible transfers out for Stephen Appiah, Tuncay Sanli, and Diego Lugano, while Fenerbahce has been linked with transfers in for Roberto Carlos and Julio Baptista. However, Zico avoided the rumor mill and stated "’If the President has some kind of transfer in his mind, he will tell you.’ ’I try to make this team the champion with my players right now. I’m satisfied with their performances. Please don’t ask me these questions." He elaborated that he has not requested any transfers from the club.
Regarding the Super Lig race, Zico stated "The league is not over yet. Besiktas and Galatasaray are behind us but everything can happen in football. We respect our competitors but we only care what we do." He went on to say that he was pleased with Serdar's performance in goal, and that he plans to continue to utilize him in the starting lineup as long as he is playing well.
Fenerbahce resume Turkcell Super Lig competition this weekend at home vs. Ankaraspor.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Turkiye vs. Norway Photos

Turkiye vs. Norway Additional Photos

All photos courtesy of the Turkish Futbol Federation (

More Photos from Turkiye vs. Norway

Photos courtesy of the Turkish Futbol Federation (

Fenerbahce Targeting Julio Baptista?

Despite reports and rumors to the contrary, Fenerbahce issued a statement this week saying they have no interest in a transfer for Brazilian footballer Julio Baptista. Baptista, who plays for English side Arsenal on loan from Real Madrid, is nicknamed "the Beast of Sevilla" and is a tremendously-talented attacking midfielder. Aziz Yildirim of Fenerbahce has repeatedly stated however that due to the six foreign player rule, there is no room for a non-Turkish transfer at this point.

Glasgow Celtic Targeting Stephen Appiah?

According to reports out of Ireland, Glasgow Celtic manager Gordon Strachan in interested in Fenerbahce and Ghanian star Stephen Appiah. Appiah, who has two years remaining on his contract, missed yesterday's Ghana vs. Brazil game due to injury. The 26-year-old has been valuable for Fenerbahce, and Glasgow believes they would need to put together a deal worth approximately $5.9 million (US Dollars) in order to acquire Appiah from Fenerbahce.
Stay tuned as more information becomes available.

Turkiye vs. Norway Match Stats

Goals: Turkiye 2, Norway 2
Total Shots: Turkiye 11, Norway 6
Shots on Target: Turkiye 8, Norway 2
Shots Wide: Turkiye 3, Norway 3
Shots Blocked: Turkiye 0, Norway 1
Fouls Committed: Turkiye 7, Norway 24
Offside: Turkiye 2, Norway 3
Corners: Turkiye 3, Norway 4
Ball Possession: Turkiye 59%, Norway 41%

More Photos from Turkiye vs. Norway in Euro 2008 Qualifying

Photos from Turkiye vs. Norway in Euro 2008 Qualifying

Germany, Turkiye Federations Join Forces

By Ahmet Turgut (
Germans Team Up With Turkish Soccer Association...

The German Football Association (DFB) has struck an agreement with its Turkish counterpart for exclusive cooperation between the two organisations. The deal will see ties strengthened between the two nations with emphasis placed on youth development in both countries. "We are delighted that, with the help of the Turkish Football Association, the integration of our Turkish fellow citizens into local communities will be facilitated," said DFB president Dr Theo Zwanziger.
Furthermore, the Turkish FA will support the DFB in their attempts to increase the number of female footballers from Turkish backgrounds in a nation where women's football is on the increase. In addition, three of Turkey'sEuro 2008 qualifiers are also set to be played in Germany as a result of the agreement, with Turkey still not allowed to stage matches on home soil following indiscipline at the end of their World Cup qualifying campaign last year. The Turkish Super-Cup could also be staged in Germany in future.
Thanks to Ahmet Turgut for use of this information. Please visit Ahmet's website at

Altintop Saves Turkiye for 2-2 Draw

Turkiye fought back from two goals down to gain a dramatic draw against Norway that keeps them top of UEFA EURO 2008™ Group C.

Altıntop heroics
Having won 4-1 in Greece on Saturday, Turkiye were three points clear before today's games, while Norway were still reeling from losing at home to Bosnia-Herzegovina. Although the Turkish lead is now down to one point after their 100 per cent winning record was ended, the two late Hamit Altıntop free-kicks that cancelled out Simon Brenne and Martin Andresen's first-half efforts will give Turkiye further confidence.

Advantage Norway
The match was played behind closed doors in Frankfurt as Turkiye completed their three-game stadium ban following incidents after their FIFA World Cup play-off against Switzerland in November 2005. Norway seemed the more at home and Brunne shot just wide early on before Thorstein Helstad headed over the bar. On 31 minuntes Åge Hareide's side were ahead as Fredrik Strømstad on the right found Brenne and he rounded Volkan Demirel and fired in. Nine minutes later it was two. Helstad launched a counterattack and laid the ball off to John Carew, who played in Andresen, and the Norway captain drove in from the edge of the box.

Comeback begins
With Greece beating Malta to close in on Turkiye, the leaders needed to rally after the interval and within three minutes Gökdeniz Karadeniz shot on to the post. Altıntop then forced a save from Thomas Myhre, before with 18 minutes remaining his free-kick slipped under the grasp of the goalkeeper and into the net. Myhre then frustrated Emre Belözoglu, yet in added time another Altıntop set-piece again caught him out and Turkey had their point. On 2 June they go to Bosnia-Herzegovina, who are six points adrift just like Norway, who host Malta that day.

Some content courtesy of

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Turkiye Defeats Greece 4-1!!!

Turkiye just defeated Greece 4-1 in Euro 2008 Qualifying moments ago in Greece. Fenerbahce's Tuncay Sanli and Tumer Metin scored for Turkiye, along with Gokdeniz and Gokhan. Turkiye climbed back from an early 1-0 deficit, as Greece took the lead less than five minutes into the game.

More photos, analysis, reaction, etc. coming on the game, so check back with Fenerbahce Worldwide in the coming days.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Terim Confident Despite Injuries

From Friday's Turkish Daily News....
Turkey national squad coach Fatih Terim declares that the number uanvailable players will not be an excuse for a possible failure in Saturday’s match against Greece

The high number of injured players in the Turkish national soccer squad might be a huge disadvantage in Saturday's Euro 2008 Qualifying Group C game at Greece; coach Fatih Terim, however, has said he would not complain.

Zenith Petersburg striker Fatih Tekke, midfielder Nuri Şahin of Borussia Dortmund, Halil Altıntop, İbrahim Akın of Beşiktaş, Galatsaray's Arda Turan and Schakle 04 midfielder Yıldıray Baştürk will all be unavailable for Saturday.

Speaking in an interview with Galatsaray TV, Fatih Terim rejected the idea that he was the kind of coach that moans about injuries, asserting a team should never be considered incomplete until there were not enough players for a starting XI.

Greece is no longer a defensive team:
Commenting on Saturday's opponent, Terim stated that Greece's playing mentality has changed a lot since claiming the title at Euro 2004. “Greece starts with three attackers and they are not playing on the counter attack as they used to do.”
Turkey's coach also praised Greece, saying, “They have skillful players like Georgios Samaras and Stylianos Giannakopoulos and nine out of their regular starters are playing in different European leagues.” However, Terim added that the first thing he cares about is the performance of his own team, not the opponent.

As a response to critics commenting about the selection of Emre Aşık to the national squad, Terim backed his player by underlining the Galatasaray defender's recent form.

Terim also said that he has been a great asset for Emre Belözoğlu, who was cleared of racism charges mid-week. “Emre called me after the first claims,” he explained, “Then I contacted Italian and Spanish officials, wrote a reference letter with former his teammates Clarence Seedorf's and Mohammed Kallon's signatures to help him in his defense.”

The former Galatasaray coach avoided any definitive comments on the championship race in the Turkcell Super League.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Fatih Tekke Reinjured?

Word out of the Turkish camp in Greece is that Fatih Tekke has been reinjured during practice today and will miss Saturday's game. I can't confirm this rumor just yet and hopefully it is just a rumor. I'll report more details as they become available.

Greece Asking Fans For "Proper Behavior"

Courtesy of
Greece's Theofanis Gekas has urged fans to be "committed but not aggressive" when the European champions host neighbours Turkey in Saturday's big match.

Unclouded atmosphere
Games between the Aegean rivals are always fiercely contested but with the two sides level on points at the top of Group C, there could be added edge at the Georgios Karaiskakis stadium this weekend. Striker Gekas wants the supporters to focus on providing a cauldron of noise. "We need the support of our fans for the whole 90 minutes," he told "We need them on our side, to be committed but not aggressive."

Calming words
It is a sentiment shared by Turkey coach Fatih Terim, who is keen for his players to look upon the match as an exciting prospect rather than an issue of national pride. "If we do that, we will ease the pressure on our players," he said. The burden of expectation has been made heavier by the excellent starts both countries have enjoyed to their UEFA EURO 2008™ campaigns, with three wins apiece and no goals conceded. "We made a splendid start, but so did Turkey," said the 26-year-old Gekas, who is on loan at VfL Bochum 1848 from Panathinaikos FC. "So the team that wins on Saturday will have the upper hand in the race for top spot.

Close encounter
"It's a very difficult and decisive encounter for both sides. If we win, we will have 90 per cent secured our qualification for UEFA EURO 2008™. Turkey are a very competitive and experienced team and they play with passion. Greece and Turkey are very much alike and I believe Saturday's game will be very close."

Turkish headaches
Terim certainly hopes so. Turkey will be deprived of İbrahim Toraman, Arda Turan and Nihat Kahveci through injury, and a number of others are out of form, yet the coach is adamant that the Athens match is no damage-limitation exercise. "We can't get too hung up about out-of-form players because they might come good at international level," he said. "We have no intention of playing for a draw."

'Full of emotion'
The neighbours traded 0-0 draws in 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying, but - bearing Turkey's problems in mind - Gekas hopes Greece will settle this third competitive meeting more decisively. "We have nothing to gain if we play defensively, because we are at home and our aim is to win all our home games," he said. "If we score, they will have to open up and attack. The match will be spectacular, full of emotion."

Greek Futbol Chief: "Security Won't Be A Problem"

Ahead of Saturday's match, Greek Football Federation (EPO) chief Vassilios Gagatsis said he expected a tough match between Turkiye and Greece. “Two very good teams will be on the pitch on Saturday and naturally I hope Greece will be the winner,” daily Radikal quoted him saying.

History ensures a lively atmosphere whenever these two countries meet, but the fixture schedule has also thrown up an intriguing coincidence with the match falling on the weekend of a Greek public holiday celebrating the country's independence from the Ottoman Empire.

However Gagatsis said they were not concerned. “Futbol has no relation with national days or political and nationalist fanaticism. The national holiday is important for us, but the match is a completely different issue. There is no doubt about the Turkish squad's security; Greek police will take the necessary security precautions.”

Speaking to Greek daily Elephterotphia, Turkish national squad coach Fatih Terim expressed his hope for both teams qualifying from the group. He added the decision not to allow away team supporters to the games was sad, but necessary.

Greece defender Giourkas Seitaridis believes the game will have a significant bearing on whether the holders will be defending their UEFA European Championship crown in Austria and Switzerland next year.

"It will be an extremely difficult game as we're both good teams," said Club Atletico Madrid right-back Seitaridis. "I hope we can succeed in winning - if we do then I feel 99 percent sure that we'll qualify for the finals."

Fenerbahce Denies Interest in Real's Roberto Carlos

After numerous Brazilian and European media outlets reported news of Real Madrid's Roberto Carlos possibly moving to Fenerbahce, the Turkish club issued a statement Thursday denying any current interest in the Spanish League star. Fener admitted that it was at one time interested in the Brazilian national, but indicated that they are no longer interested in a Roberto Carlos transfer to Istanbul. Despite the denial, the club has denied interest in other stars previously, only to sign them to deals following their issued statements. Only time will tell if the interest and/or denial is a public relations ploy or not.

Turkish National Team Arrives in Atina, Greece

The Turkish national team has arrived in Atina, Greece, two days ahead of their clash with historic rivals Greece in a Euro 2008 qualifier. The team will train today and go through final pre-game preparations tomorrow, implementing last-minute procedures and sets for the game. Kickoff is at 3:30 PM EST in the U.S. on Saturday.

Turkiye, Greece Focus on Football, Not Politics

From ESPNSoccernet....
ATHENS, March 22 (Reuters) - The coaches of joint Euro Group C leaders Greece and Turkiye have avoided pep talks that include politics ahead of the arch-rivals' clash on Saturday in a bid to keep players focused on the task at hand: victory.

Greece coach Otto Rehhagel and his Turkish counterpart Fatih Terim have carefully sidestepped sensitive issues that divide the two nations off the pitch, knowing all too well that Saturday's clash could determine who will gain a major advantage for qualification to the 2008 tournament.

Both teams have a maximum haul of nine points from their opening three games with Turkiye boasting a goal difference of 8-0 and Greece, the reigning European champions, 6-0.
Greece then face Malta on Wednesday while Turkiye face Norway, who are currently third.
Terim wants his men just to concentrate on the game, not on the ancient, often acrimonious rivalry between the two nations.

'If we get rid of the notion of this game being some kind of national cause, then we'll decrease the pressure on the players themselves,' Terim said this week.

'If they go in with the national issues in mind then they will be vulnerable,' he added.
'We have been preparing for this game for the past five months,' defender Takis Fyssas said.
'This is a crucial game and we are aware that if we beat Turkiye then we have taken a major step towards qualification.'

Yourkas Seitaridis said a win against Turkiye at this stage would essentially mean qualification.
'If we win this match then we can say with almost certainty that we are through,' the defender said.

Greece will have the defensive partnership of Traianos Dellas and Michalis Kapsis back in the squad after a series of injuries had left them out in past matches.

Rehhagel will also have seven strikers at his disposal, all fit including Angelos Haristeas who overcame a muscle injury.

Fanis Gekas, who is joint goalscoring leader in the German Bundesliga, is expected to start in the sold-out match in front of 33,000 Greek fans.

But Terim has a number of injury worries - the latest casualty being Besiktas defender Ibrahim Toraman, who has been pulled out of the squad after suffering a muscle strain. Young stars Nuri Sahin and Arda Turan had already been ruled out.

Zenit St Petersburg striker Fatih Tekke is training separately from the squad as he is also recovering from a muscle strain.

In-form Galatasaray defender Emre Asik is expected to earn a place in the starting line-up.
Terim has already said he will pick goalkeeper Volkan Demirel, who is out of favour at Fenerbahce because of a dip in form.

Probable teams:

Greece: Antonis Nikopolidis; Yourkas Seitaridis, Traianos Dellas, Sotiris Kyrgiakos, Takis Fyssas; Kostas Katsouranis, Angelos Basinas, Giorgos Karagounis, Stelios Giannakopoulos; Fanis Gekas, Yorgos Samaras.

Turkiye: Volkan Demirel; Emre Asik, Ibrahim Uzulmez, Gokhan Zan, Servet Cetin; Mehmet Aurelio, Gokdeniz Karadeniz, Tumer Metin, Tugay Kerimoglu, Tuncay Sanli; Hakan Sukur.
Referee: Wolfgang Stark (Germany)