Fenerbahce v Lazio preview

Team news for Thursday's Europa League quarter-final first-leg between Fenerbahce and Lazio at the Sukru Saracoglu Stadium (kick-off 8.05pm).

Last Updated: 04/04/13 at 09:16

Aykut Kocaman: Expects a 'challenging' game for his side

Aykut Kocaman: Expects a 'challenging' game for his side

More of the games that matter

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

Fenerbahce coach Aykut Kocaman believes Lazio are "one step ahead" in the race to lift this season's Europa League trophy.

The Turkish giants are looking to reach the last four of a UEFA competition for the first time by ousting Lazio at the quarter-final stage.

Vladimir Petkovic's Biancocelesti, however, are the only side yet to lose a game in this season's Europa League and are also the highest scoring club with 19 goals.

Fener may have dominated Group C before knocking both BATE Borisov and Viktoria Plzen out but Kocaman knows conquering the Romans at the Sukru Saracoglu Stadium will be a tall order.

He told fenerbahce.org: "Of all the teams competing in the Europa League this season, Lazio just seem to be one step ahead of the rest.

"It will be an extremely challenging game and one that is so valuable to us. Therefore, playing as a team will be crucial and we will have to score."

Kocaman also issued kind words of support for fierce Istanbul rivals Galatasaray, who visit Real Madrid in the Champions League on Wednesday night.

"I wish Galatasaray good luck, they are going to play a very difficult game as well," he added. "Turkish football has developed so much while these two clubs have been developing.

"Now both Galatasaray and Fenerbahce are tasked with making the big breakthrough for Turkish football."

Former Liverpool duo Raul Meireles and Dirk Kuyt should start with ex-Chelsea midfielder Miroslav Stoch pushing for inclusion in the first XI.

Biancocelesti striker Miroslav Klose, meanwhile, returned from a leg injury against Catania on Saturday and could partner either Louis Saha or Libor Kozak.

The Czech Republic international is now the tournament's top scorer after his hat-trick against Stuttgart in the last 16 moved him on to eight goals, one ahead of Napoli's Edinson Cavani.

For visiting coach Petkovic, the Sukru Saracoglu holds special memories of a 1-0 win he described as "probably my greatest victory ever".

His Young Boys side eliminated Kocaman's Fenerbahce from the third qualifying round of the 2010-11 Champions League by winning in Istanbul having claimed a 2-2 draw in Berne.

And on his return to Turkey, he told Gazzetta.it: "I know Fenerbahce well - they are a very worthy opponent.

"In this stadium and with these fans they'll always have a small advantage. We will need to harness all of our mental strength to dominate them."

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Europa League Fixtures

Thursday, 02 October 2014
17:00
Krasnodar v Everton Live
18:00
Aalborg v Rio Ave  
Dinamo Minsk v Fiorentina  
Dynamo Kiev v S Bucuresti  
Feyenoord v S Liege  
Guingamp v PAOK S'nika  
Lokeren v Metalist  
Rijeka v Sevilla  
Slovan v Napoli  
Sp Prague v Young Boys  

Footer 365

Transfer news: Kevin Strootman not for sale, insist AS Roma

AS Roma sporting director Walter Sabatini has reiterated that Kevin Strootman will not be sold anytime soon.

European Qualifiers: No Sturridge rift with Liverpool, says England boss Roy Hodgson

Roy Hodgson insists there is no dispute with Liverpool after omitting striker Daniel Sturridge from the England squad.

European Qualifiers: Nathaniel Clyne and Jonjo Shelvey in England squad as Daniel Sturridge is omitted

Nathaniel Clyne has been named in England's squad for the European Qualifiers against San Marino and Estonia.

Mail Box

Again, It's Football365 Being Racist...

'The worst piece of ill-informed PC garbage that I've ever read on the interweb' - that's Nick Miller's Rooney Rule column. The rest of the Mailbox is more fun...

Danny, Champion Of Arsenal's World

It's a Mailbox filled with Liverpool glumness, but happiness surrounding Danny, champion of Arsenal's world. Plus, can someone try and teach Balotelli the offside rule?

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property