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Wednesday, July 28, 2004 

Intertoto Cup semi-final first leg: Villarreal - HSV

So finally the day has come for which all HSV fans have been waiting for. Tonight at 10.00 pm (!), HSV take on the Spanish first division side Villarreal, in the first leg of the Intertoto Cup semi-final. The match will be shown live on Premiere TV. HSV's coach knows the Spaniards well, he watched them three times last season.

Danger man!

Toppi knows their main danger man is the hugely experienced veteran striker Sonny Anderson. Toppi will man-mark the prolific goal scorer by putting Bastian Reinhardt on his tail. Should Anderson get away from his "shadow", big Daniel van Buyten will be waiting for him!

Romeo on fire

The Spanish press has rightly been warning of the goal scoring prowess of HSV's Argentinean striker Bernardo Romeo, who scored four times in tow matches against the Swiss side Thun, in the quarter finals of the competition. Romeo is on fire at the moment, and as opposed to last season, is willing to drop back and help his team mates. HSV knows that tonight's opponent is a different proposition than (with all due respect) Thun was. Sport director Dietmar Beiersdorfer recently said in an exclusive interview with hsv.de, that he sees the game in Spain as a pointer as to exactly where the team is at the moment, performance wise and fitness wise.

No skipper

HSV's newly appointed skipper Tomas Ujfalusi will not play in Spain, he is recovering from bruising to his toe, sustained during the recent EURO 2004 championships in Portugal. Veteran striker Sergej Barbarez has stayed in Hamburg to receive treatment for an adductor problem. Villarreal is hoping for a crowd in excess of 10,000 for tonight's match. All season ticket holders get in for free this evening.

Second chance

Klaus Toppmöller described how he sees the optimal situation for his side regarding the first leg tie: "Not to lose and to score an away goal. That would set us up nicely for the return leg in the AOL Arena a week later," hopes Toppi.

Probable HSV line-up: Pieckenhagen - Schlicke, van Buyten, Reinhardt - Wicky, Benjamin, Jarolim, Beinlich, Kling - Romeo, Mpenza.

Source: HSV.de

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