After losing 2-0 on home ground to a PSV Eindhoven side who played like it was a friendly (which is actually was), Fenerbahce have to wake up and smell the roses. They have a huge game tomorrow on Austrian soil in a Champions League 3rd Qualifying Round against Red Bull Salzburg.
Even with the talent at hand, the Turkish side has to step on foreign ground to face a team that is not afraid of any opponent. They will play their game on their turf in front of their home fans. Will they make this easy for their opponents? Absolutely no way, no how.
Dirk Kuyt, Moussa Sow, Michael Kadlec, Bruno Alves and Raul Meireles are all experienced international players who will learn to connect and make their presence felt on the field simultaneously, but this will definitely take some time. They are facing a team that is full of players who know exactly how to play off of one another. The bigger names are on the Turkish side, but the better soccer may be on the Austrian one.
Coach Ersun Yanal has already done his homework as he found out that the attacking front of Salzburg are comfortable switching positions throughout the game which makes them a threat in the final third. Their average age of the team is 24, which gives them a huge youthful advantage against a side that relies on aged experience. RBS also scored 10 goals in their last two outings, with their most recent match ending 5-1 in their favor against Austria Wien.
Now, Fener have to go into Austria and somehow conjure up a result to take back home to Istanbul for next week’s second leg. If they tie, they could definitely win in Istanbul as opponents succumb to pressure on a gamely basis in front of their faithful fans who never stop cheering.
This will be a good series with the winner advancing to the Champions League Play-off round with the winner advancing to the group stage.