Although they are making their Champions League quarter-final debut, Fenerbahce have high hopes for Wednesday’s first leg against Chelsea.
Fenerbahce have already beaten Internazionale, PSV Eindhoven, CSKA Moscow and Sevilla at home this season, and coach Zico argues that reputations count for nothing these days.
“In modern football, with modern communications, everyone knows all about their opponents,” the Brazilian said. “So it is not important what names or shirts you have, but what you do on the pitch.”
Zico intends to maintain attacking philosophy which has served them so well this season.
“Chelsea have a strong defence but we have a good attacking team and good forwards, so we believe we can get through their back line,”he added.
The Turkish champions will also have the fervent backing of the fanatical Fenerbahce support.
“It drives on the team and the players,” Zico added.
Zico’s could be without both regular full-backs, as Gokhan Gonul is suspended and Roberto Carlos, injured since injuring his thigh against Sevilla on 20 February, is unlikely to be fit .
Chelsea manager Avram Grant will continue with Carlo Cudicini in goal as Petr Cech has failed to shake off an ankle injury. Better news for Grant is that Frank Lampard seems to have overcome a stomach bug.
Grant, who was appointed with a brief to produce entertaining football, admits that the result is more important than the nature of the performance.
“We try all the time to combine both of those, but we cannot do it all the time,” Grant said.
“We will try to do both but the most important thing after these two games is to be in the semi-finals.”
As for Fenerbahce, he added: “Any team in the last 8 are a good team and Fenerbahce are a very good team. They score a lot of goals, they play very good football and it will be very difficult.
“I like the atmosphere here, it is a good atmosphere for football.”