Fenerbahce have begun their season well, recording four wins and a draw from their opening Turkish Superleague games.
However, the results have not accurately reflected the quality of their performances, which have been patchy, and coach Christoph Daum has wanred his players that they must improve for the visit of Sparta Prague.
“Looking at our recent matches we need to produce much more for the Champions League, especially in terms of mistakes, because teams like Sparta are very experienced and will not leave errors unpunished,” Daum said.
Still, his team are highly-rated, as Sparta coach Frantisek Straka admits.
“Fenerbahce have a great squad and a squad that is very well tailored for the Champions League,” Sparta coach Frantisek Straka said.
“Fenerbahce have made many transfers and have high hopes. We have nothing to lose and the quality of our players is obvious. But Fenerbahçe have to win, and that is our biggest advantage.”
“You could say that we have a disadvantage there but we’re going to turn it into an advantage.
“I think it is more about your own performance. If we have tactical discipline then we can fight against these teams. So although they have more experience than us, we have internationals who play for their countries and I do not think there is much difference between international football and the Champions League.”
“Looking at that Fenerbahce squad, they are one of the more ambitious sides.”
Daum has made several signings over the summer including Brazilian midfield player Alex De Souza and Dutch striker Pierre van Hooijdonk.
Sparta have identified Van Hooijdonk as their principal threat tonight.
“We must stop him getting the ball,” Straka said. “If we can do that and not give away free-kicks then maybe we can reduce his influence.”