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Poulsen predicts Sevilla thriller

Sevilla FC have to turn around a 3-2 defeat against Fenerbahçe SK on Tuesday but Christian Poulsen believes they can edge what is proving an exciting tie.

Sevilla FC have to turn around a 3-2 defeat against Fenerbahçe SK in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League first knockout round tie, courtesy of a late goal for the Turkish side last week in Istanbul. But midfielder Christian Poulsen believes that European football's knockout specialists can still prevail on Tuesday.

Poulsen aided Sevilla in their successful defence of the UEFA Cup last season, and they came through another tough two-legged tie against AEK Athens FC to earn a UEFA Champions League debut this term. But the Danish international still rues Fenerbahçe substitute Semih Şentürk's first-leg winner. "I think it was a very open game," he told uefa.com. "Of course we are disappointed that we lost as we had good chances and they got their last goal only three minutes before the end. We have got to hope for a better result but we still have a chance at home."

The trip to Turkey was far from straightforward; apart from playing in front of around 45,000 fervent Fenerbahçe fans, the Sükrü Saraçoglu Stadium pitch was under a thick blanket of snow until the day before the match due to a freezing Istanbul weekend. But Poulsen is not complaining.  "There is always a very good atmosphere In Istanbul, and they have a good home crowd," he said. "It was a good Champions League game with five goals. The pitch was OK. Considering the weather in the days leading up to the match, it was pretty good."

Even chances
Former FC København and FC Schalke 04 player Poulsen, who turned 28 on Thursday, is also upbeat about his team's prospects of reaching the quarter-finals. "We were hopeful that we could get away from there with a 2-2 draw, that would have been a very nice result," he concluded. "Now we have to win at home, I still reckon we can make it through. It will be difficult, though, Fenerbahçe are a good team. It will be an open match again in Seville, I think our chances are 50-50."