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Euro Round-Up Part Two.

Whilst Rovers were defying the age old scripture of law of averages and contriving to lose a game that they should have won our Group E UEFA Cup opponents shared a mixed bag of results.

It is perhaps fair to begin with our next opponents F C Basel.

They have been stuttering of late in their league but have shown a marked improvement in their last two games.

Whilst Rovers were leaving it late against Wisla, Basel suffered from an undignified late equaliser at home to Feyenoord. They were rampant and should have had the game sewed up by half-time.

That form inspired their commanding victory against Switzerland`s oldest club, St Gallen (who you may recall beat Chelsea in this competition a few years ago) at the weekend. They were 2-0 up thanks to goals from midfielder Ivan Ratitic and Serbian, Ivan Ergic. St Gallen pulled one back with 18 minutes remaining but Basel held on.

This victory leaves them fifth in the league with 16 points from 11 games; 11 points behind leaders Grasshoppers Zurich.

Moving on; we thought our result was tough to take? Well at least we aren`t Feyenoord fans. They were destroyed by a buoyant Ajax side 4-0 at home. It was billed the game of the weekend and it didn`t disappoint for action.

Ajax took a 2-0 half-time lead thanks to two goals from 2006 signing Klass van Huntelaar. The exciting young Dutchman has been performing well since his transfer from Heerenveen and you may recall he was the first person to score in Arsenal`s new Emirates Stadium.

The rout was completed in the second half thanks to two goals from recent acquisition Kenneth Perez. However, the drama wasn`t over.

Frustration got the better of the Feyenoord players as Pierre van Hooijdonk and Sebastian Pardo were both sent off.

Nancy Lorraine kept up their promising early season form but, like Feyenoord they finished the game with a deficit of men.

A 1-0 over bottom club Nantes, thanks to a goal from Michael Chretien ensured they kept the pressure on Lique 1`s top two, Lyon and Marseilles. Pape Diakhate was sent off late on for Nancy.

Nancy have now only conceded a single goal in their last five games and have lost only once in their 10 league fixtures. They are third with 19 points.

Finally, Rovers` victory over Wisla seemed to take a knock-on effect.

They could only manage a goalless draw at the weekend away against 6th placed Zaglebie. They are still top with 21 points from 11 games but their manager, Dragomir Okuka, is obviouls concerned. He is quoted on uefa.com saying:

"We are in a tough position after losing our first match at home in the UEFA Cup, but we`ll do our best. We have a tough run in front of us, with many hard matches, but I believe my team will show our strength. I can`t promise anything, only our best possible performance. We will also need a little bit of luck, as always in football."


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The Journalist

Writer: Roversman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday October 23 2006

Time: 12:12PM

Your Comments

Basel will be tough but think we should have enough to beat them at Ewood as they don't always travel well. Depends what Feyenoord team turns up? If we go to Holland and play well and they don't attend the races then we could win, but I think a point would be a VERY good result.
Hughes Da Man
I know of St Gallen and remember them beating Chelsea. I may be wrong but I think they may have been the team who Roberto Di Matteo broke his leg against thus ultimately ending his career?
Hughes Da Man
eeeuuuu basel there good arnt they ?? well we will have to top up our game for a win there
marshinrover
I think we will have enough to out-do Basel. That would put us in a commanding position going into the Feyenoord game.
roversman
It certainly would wouldn't it roversman. A win over Basel would put us close enough to qualification a point and a draw would surely see us through wouldn't it?
Hughes Da Man
After that great opening result and seeing how two of the other teams faired Im very confident. I do though have to disagree with Williams. After doinfg my research it is safe to say Nancy will be the dark horses of this group. Im pleased we have that fixture at Ewood.
roversman
You've got to be confident haven't you, a winning start was vital, but not essential. Had we been at home it would have. I don't know a great deal about Nancy I have to confess but I do know that they are a tough nut to crack especially in France and also know Tony Cascarino used to play for them!
Hughes Da Man
Yeah well thier form speaks for itself. I think, especially considering we are at home, that we will be able to overcome them.
roversman
Home adavantage will always help us out in Europe won't it so we have to make the most of it, as I'm sure we will.
Hughes Da Man
 

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