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There has been a notable absence from Fenerbahçe SK's UEFA Champions League campaign but that is about to be put right. The man who lit up the 2007/08 competition with some stunning goals, Deivid, broke his shin on the first day of pre-season and only resumed playing last month. Now, though, he is ready to face FC Porto.
In Deivid's absence, last season's quarter-finalists have managed just two points from four Group G games, so only a victory against Porto in Istanbul on Tuesday will keep their hopes of progress alive. The 29-year-old winger made his Turkish Süper Lig comeback against Bursaspor on 25 October, completing the scoring in a 5-2 win before, a fortnight later, striking in a 4-1 defeat of Galatasaray AŞ.
'Win at all costs'
With Fenerbahçe unbeaten in his six domestic appearances this term, the Brazilian is eager to extend that sequence on the European stage. "We know this match will be very tough and stressful," Deivid said. "I appreciate that we need to win at all costs and I believe we have the strength to do that. To be honest, even a draw would be a poor result for us."
Hitting their stride
Fenerbahçe began their group-stage campaign with a 3-1 loss in Porto, yet Deivid is convinced the 0-0 draw at Arsenal FC last time out proves things have changed. "We almost got a win away to Arsenal," said the former Santos FC and SC Corinthians Paulista forward. "Fenerbahçe are a different proposition now compared with September. Things are more settled in our squad. You'll see the difference on Tuesday."
Deivid believes part of the reason for that is the team finally adapting to the philosophy of coach Luis Aragonés, who replaced Zico in the summer. "Last year, we tried to play the game in the opposition half but this year we don't always do that," he said. "Sometimes we are criticised because we don't look like we have a powerful attack. That's caused by our lack of finishing in my opinion. If we are more careful in front of goal, everything will be better."
Certainly, Deivid – who moved to Turkey in 2006 from Sporting Clube de Portugal – is adamant that Fenerbahçe will take the tie to Porto. "We are not interested in what Porto are going to do against us," he said. "Our aim is to put our game plan into practice." For Porto defender Rolando, Fenerbahçe should at least get it right off the pitch, with the 23-year-old anticipating a fine atmosphere at the Sükrü Saraçoglu Stadium. "[Turkish fans] give constant support to their teams and Fenerbahçe are no exception. When we enter the pitch, we will try not to hear them. I expect a hard match."
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