Amavubi’s day out

Tottenham v Anorthosis Famagusta, 21:00Heerenveen v Helsingborgs IF           20:45

Tottenham v Anorthosis Famagusta, 21:00
Heerenveen v Helsingborgs IF           20:45

Amavubi’s captain Olivier Karekezi is hoping to make his mark on the European scene tonight when his Swedish club Helsingborgs IF takes on Heerenveen in the Uefa Cup.

After a disappointing start to the Swedish league this season, Helsingborgs’ manager Stuart Baxter will be hoping to stabilize his squad that finished fourth last season. 

After Sunday’s 1-1 draw at home to Brommapojkarna, Helsingborgs are ninth in the league and eight points behind leaders Djurgardens IF.

Even after the arrival of former Manchester United, Barcelona and Celtic hitman Henrik Larsson, the club has failed to show its full offensive potential since the season began .

The Rwandan attacking midfielder or forward and a popular player among the Helsingborg fans signed for the club in 2005, leaving his native club APR FC, and scored five goals in 18 matches during the 2005 season. In 2006, he scored 11 goals for Helsingborg thereby becoming the club’s top scorer in Allsvenskan.

Karekezi has played fifteen international matches for Rwanda, and represented his country at the 2004 African Cup of Nations.

Karekezi is a hot prospect for the future of Helsingborgs IF and Rwandan football.

In north London tonight, another Rwandan in Hamad “Katauti” Ndikumana will be flying the national flag high when his Cyprian club Anorthosis Famagusta takes on England’s Tottenham Spurs at White heart Lane.

he self-exiled is understood to be a kingpin in back four of the Cyprus club. 

Among the favorites to take over their crown are Bayern Munich, playing in the UEFA Cup for the first time since 1996-97 after failing to qualify for the Champions League last season.

Bayern, who along with Ajax Amsterdam, Red Star Belgrade and Hamburg SV are one of four former European champions taking part, face Belenenses of Portugal, who last won a European tie 19 years ago against Bayer Leverkusen.

Ajax, who like Bayern has won all three of Europe’s senior competitions including the UEFA Cup, dropped into the UEFA Cup after being eliminated from the Champions League third qualifying round by Slavia Prague.

They face a tough tie against Dinamo Zagreb, also eliminated in the third qualifying round of the Champions League, by Werder Bremen.

Former European champions Red Star Belgrade face Poland’s Groclin Grodzisk while Hamburg, who advanced from the Intertoto Cup, plays Litex Lovech of Bulgaria.

Tottenham Hotspur, who were knocked out by Sevilla in the quarter-finals last season, have a special relationship with the UEFA Cup, being the first club to win it in 1972.

They will be hoping to kick-start their season after just one win in six matches in the Premier League, with a convincing performance against Anorthosis Famagusta of Cyprus.

Galatasaray, the only Turkish club to win a European trophy when they lifted the UEFA Cup in 2000, travel to FC Sion in Switzerland.

Anderlecht, the 1983 winners, play Rapid Vienna while Leverkusen, the 1988 victors, face Leiria of Portugal.

The 40 clubs that survive the opening round will be drawn into eight groups of five teams on Oct. 9 before embarking on a four-match group stage and subsequent knockout rounds for the three top teams in each group.

Ends

 

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