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Fenerbahçe braced for Spartak power play

Aykut Kocaman wants Fenerbahçe SK to keep cool as they look to recover from 2-1 down against FC Spartak Moskva, though Unai Emery is eager for the visitors to show "our power".

fenerbahceFenerbahçe SK coach Aykut Kocaman has urged his side to keep their heads as they look to overturn a 2-1 UEFA Champions League play-off deficit at home against FC Spartak Moskva.

A spectacular Dmitri Kombarov strike gave Spartak the edge in Moscow last week. Kocaman will be without goalkeeper Volkan Demirel (shoulder) and has injury concerns over centre-back Serdar Kesimal, but believes that playing the decider in Istanbul could still be a crucial factor in his side's favour.

"We're on the threshold of the UEFA Champions League and up against a very strong team," said the 47-year-old, once a striker for the Yellow Canaries. "They want to reach the group stage as much as we do. As Spartak won the first leg 2-1, they look to have the edge, but playing the second leg at home is an advantage for us."

After a low-key start to the season, Fenerbahçe beat Gaziantepspor 3-0 at the weekend, and while Kocaman feels playmaker Alex is not ready for the Spartak game, he can rely on a striker in superb for. A summer signing from Liverpool FC, Dirk Kuyt has scored in each of his last five games for the club – six goals in total.

"If we can add the passing and balance to our game that we showed against Gaziantepspor, this will be the way we should play against Spartak," said the coach. "If we don't concede, we'll have a chance to win, even if it takes until the 90th minute. I'll try to stress this to my team. The fans should be aware of that as well."

Spartak boss Unai Emery admitted his side's performance in a 2-1 weekend defeat at FC Terek Grozny was "bad", adding: "Maybe we were too focused on the Fenerbahçe game." The Spaniard has a number of injury concerns, with Kim Kallström and Welliton out with hamstring problems and among four players who did not travel to Istanbul, but added: "We know how passionate the Fenerbahçe fans are, but we are a good team and we will show our power."

Tags: fenerbahçe | Spartak Moskva | UEFA Champions League

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