Fener takes on Salzburg on way to Champions League

Fener takes on Salzburg on way to Champions League

Fener takes on Salzburg on way to Champions League

The Salzburg face-off will be new Fenerbahçe coach Ersun Yanal’s first official UEFA challenge. Fener’s Holmen however will not be taking the field tonight. AA photo

Fenerbahçe visits Austria’s Red Bull Salzburg in the first leg game of the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round on July 31.

The game at the Red Bull Arena Stadium and the referee of the game is Portuguese Duarte Gomes.

It is going to be the first official match for Fenerbahçe’s new coach Ersun Yanal, who arrived at the Istanbul club following the departure of coach Aykut Kocaman earlier this summer.

Yanal’s first serious test at Fenerbahçe was an exhibition game against PSV Eindhoven last week, and ended in a 2-0 defeat for the Turks.

Fenerbahçe’s fresh faces, Turkish hot prospect Alper Potuk and veteran Portuguese defender Bruno Alves could be handed their competitive debuts at the Yellow Canaries today. Another new transfer, Swedish midfielder Samuel Holmen, however, will not appear tonight, since Fenerbahçe has yet to list the player in its squad due to the Turkish Football Federation’s foreign player quota.

Last minute addition

Fenerbahçe was a last-minute addition to the Champions League draw on July 19, after it was handed a two-year ban due to match-fixing by the European football’s governing body, UEFA.

The Yellow Canaries are awaiting a final decision on whether it will be allowed to continue in the competition after initially being banned by UEFA for its role in a 2011 domestic match-fixing scandal. Fenerbahçe has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which provisionally overturned the UEFA ban, allowing the club to be included in the draw, pending a full hearing.

A decision is due to be made on August 28, just one day before the draw for the Champions League group stages takes place. If Fenerbahçe reaches that stage, it could still be excluded before the draw is made.

The Fenerbahçe vs. Salzburg is one of 10 games that will be played on this round today.

Last year’s Europa League semifinalist Basel of Switzerland will meet Maccabi Tel Aviv from Israel. Georgian champion Dinamo Tbilisi takes on Romania’s Steaua Bucharest. Kazakhstan titleholder Shakhter Karagandy seeks a first-time appearance in the competition for its country and meets Albiania’s Skenderbeu Korce in the process.

Austrian champion Austria Wien will meet Iceland’s FH. Estonian Nomme Kalju, who has managed its first ever European victory in the previous round, takes on Czech champion Viktoria Plzen. Dinamo Zagreb from Croatia plays against Sheriff Tiraspol of Moldova. In the non-champions route, Denmark’s Nordsjaelland meets Zenit St. Petersburg, Greek PAOK takes on Metalist Kharkiv from Ukraine, Dutch PSV Eindhoven plays against Zulte Waregem and France’s Lyon is pitted against Grasshopper of Switzerland.