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Edu's case for Fenerbahçe defence

Published: Tuesday 21 October 2008, 18.54CET
Edu has bolstered the Fenerbahçe SK defence since returning from injury on Matchday 2 and the Brazilian international believes they can continue their recovery from a slow start against Arsenal FC on Tuesday night.
by Türker Tozar
from Istanbul
Edu's case for Fenerbahçe defence
Edu's return to the Fenerbahçe defence was welcome in Istanbul ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics

FenerbahçeArsenal

Goals scored4
 
17
Attempts on target22
 
60
Attempts off target28
 
66
Corners18
 
77
Offsides15
 
47
Fouls committed106
 
178
Yellow cards17
 
20
Red cards1
 
0
 
Published: Tuesday 21 October 2008, 18.54CET

Edu's case for Fenerbahçe defence

Edu has bolstered the Fenerbahçe SK defence since returning from injury on Matchday 2 and the Brazilian international believes they can continue their recovery from a slow start against Arsenal FC on Tuesday night.

Fenerbahçe SK have made a disappointing start to the season so there was relief when Edu returned to central defence against FC Dynamo Kyiv on UEFA Champions League Matchday 2. Reunited with partner Lugano, the Brazilian helped to register a clean sheet in a 0-0 draw and is now aiming for a similar shutout when Arsenal FC visit Istanbul in Group G on Tuesday.

Perfect partnership
Edu broke a metatarsal in his right foot in August and was missed as Fenerbahçe dropped points in the Turkish Süper Lig and also lost their group-stage opener 3-1 at FC Porto. With the 27-year-old's stylish ball play considered the perfect complement to Lugano's aggression, coach Luis Aragonés had to use the likes of Önder Turacı and Yasin Çakmak in his absence.

Defensive concerns
Following his long-awaited return to the side against Dynamo Kyiv, the former Cruzeiro EC centre-back passed 100 appearances for the club in a 4-1 home loss to Kayserispor on 5 October which left Fenerbahçe in the bottom half of the table. They returned to winning ways, as 3-2 victors at Kocaelispor on Saturday, although Edu knows there is still work to do. "It's not only me and Lugano trying to close down the opposition," he said. "It's a team thing, preventing the opposition having opportunities. There are still areas which need to be improved and when we achieve this everything will be better."

Arsenal challenge
Edu, capped by Brazil, was part of Fenerbahçe's run to last term's quarter-finals when, crucially, they remained unbeaten at home, including against Arsenal's neighbours Chelsea FC. Now, with only one point from two Group G games, Fenerbahçe cannot afford to start losing at their Sükrü Saraçoglu Studium. "You need to judge each match on its own merits because every game has its own story," he said. "It's no secret that we go out to win every match. Last year we had a successful Champions League campaign but things have not gone as we wanted this year. Although we have started badly, I believe we can finish strongly. We are attaching great importance to the Arsenal game – it is time we had a big victory. We have worked hard, studied them, and will take the necessary precautions on the pitch.''

Gürhan hope
While Edu prepares for his 46th UEFA competition match, 21-year-old midfielder Gürhan Gürsoy could make his group-stage bow having appeared twice as a substitute in qualifying. "I will enjoy it if the coach plays me," he said. "I know this competition is very different from the domestic league. We had a brilliant comeback against Kocaelispor on Saturday and showed that if we really want something, we can achieve it. If we do the same against Arsenal, I am confident we can be successful."

Last updated: 21/10/08 14.12CET

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