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Brugge bid for turnaround win

Published: Thursday 25 November 2004, 11.28CET
Group C: Club Brugge KV chase Belgium's first point in Europe this season against FC Utrecht.
Published: Thursday 25 November 2004, 11.28CET

Brugge bid for turnaround win

Group C: Club Brugge KV chase Belgium's first point in Europe this season against FC Utrecht.

None of the three Belgian sides in the UEFA Cup - as with RSC Anderlecht in the UEFA Champions League - have claimed so much as a point yet, but after an opening defeat by FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, Club Brugge KV are hoping for better at home against FC Utrecht.

Vote of confidence
With Utrecht having lost their opening two games, defeat for either side is likely to end their hopes of progress. Both won at the weekend, Brugge beating KA Eendracht Aalst in the Belgian Cup while Utrecht overcame FC Twente. According to Brugge coach Trond Sollied, "the players that played at Aalst did very well" so few changes are expected. Gert Verheyen is fit but Marek Spilar remains sidelined.

Old boy returns
For Utrecht coach Foeke Booy, this tie takes him back to a club where he played from 1989-92. "On Thursday it is about Club Brugge against FC Utrecht, and not Club Brugge against Foeke Booy. But of course I am looking forward to this match." Booy, who admitted he "would love to become Brugge coach one day", will be without defender Bas van den Brink because of a groin injury.

'Decisive' for Dnipro
If that tie is a question of survival, for Dnipro, victory at home against FK Austria Wien will take them to nine points and could well guarantee progress to the last 32. Coach Euhen Kucherevskiy said: "This game is decisive for us, as a win virtually gets us a knockout place." Dnipro will be without key midfielder Ruslan Rotan and striker Oleh Venhlinskiy, who are injured, and the suspended Oleh Shelayev.

Chance encounter
Austria, meanwhile, are missing Sigurd Rushfeldt, Didier Dheedene and Markus Kiesenebner, while Ernst Dospel, Michael Wagner and Krzysztof Ratajczyk are doubtful. The Austrians have three points after their 1-0 success against Real Zaragoza and coach Lars Söndergaard admitted: "We have gained much confidence after that win. Maybe Dnipro are relaxed after taking six points - this could be our chance."

Last updated: 25/11/04 12.29CET

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