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Feyenoord in rude health for Hearts

Published: Thursday 21 October 2004, 13.00CET
Group A: Feyenoord face Heart of Midlothian FC, as FC Basel 1893 travel to FC Schalke 04.
 
 
Published: Thursday 21 October 2004, 13.00CET

Feyenoord in rude health for Hearts

Group A: Feyenoord face Heart of Midlothian FC, as FC Basel 1893 travel to FC Schalke 04.

Feyenoord coach Ruud Gullit has a strong side to pick from for their opening UEFA Cup Group A match against Heart of Midlothian FC, but FC Basel 1893 have an important absentee at FC Schalke 04.

'Important step'
Danko Lazovic is back after flu kept him out of Feyenoord's 2-0 weekend win at Roda JC, and Gullit said: "It is a good thing we won at Roda, because we have made an important step in growing into a team." Feyenoord, who lead the Eredivisie, are only without long-term absentees Ramon van Haaren, Leonardo and Sebastián Pardo.

De Vries doubt
Hearts manager Craig Levein rates Dutch striker Mark de Vries as "doubtful" after a Tuesday night stay in hospital for treatment to a poisoned toe, although he has travelled. Versatile defender Kevin McKenna is set to deputise if De Vries is out, and Levein is also awaiting the results of an ankle scan on forward Ramón Pereira.

'Toughest group'
While Ferencvárosi TC have a rest day, UEFA Intertoto Cup winners Schalke welcome Basel. Schalke will be without midfield player Jörg Böhme through a groin injury and defender Fabian Lamotte due to an ankle problem. Recently appointed coach Ralf Rangnick's three weeks in charge have led Schalke up to sixth in the Bundesliga, and he said: "We have the toughest group and a successful start is extremely important."

Yakin out
Swiss Super League leaders Basel are without defensive stalwart Murat Yakin in Gelsenkirchen. Coach Christian Gross said: "Our goal is clearly qualification for the round of 32 but it will be an extremely close group and goal difference may be decisive."

 
Last updated: 21/10/04 23.06CET

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