x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Al Jazira have plans for stopping David Trezeguet

The Pro League champions plan to cut off the supply line to the Frenchman when they play Baniyas on Friday.

Al Jazira plan to nullify the threat of Baniyas' David Trezeguet when the sides meet on Friday night.
Al Jazira plan to nullify the threat of Baniyas' David Trezeguet when the sides meet on Friday night.

ABU DHABI // Two of the Pro League's high profile strikers are to reprise their Serie A duels tomorrow night.

David Trezeguet, the former Juventus forward, will go head to head with Ricardo Oliveira, who played in attack for AC Milan, as well as Spanish side Valencia, when Baniyastravel to Al Jazira.

"I played against Trezeguet during my time in Italy and he is a great football player," said Oliveira.

Franky Vercauteren, the Jazira coach, has a plan to nullify the threat of Trezeguet, a player who has scored more than 245 goals to his name in European football.

The World Cup winning Frenchman is most effective inside the penalty box. So the Belgian has instructed his team to cut off the supply line from midfield.

"Trezeguet is always dangerous, but mostly he works in the shadows," said Vercauteren, speaking ahead of the game at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium. "It is the other players who bring him into the game and give him chances, so if we stop those around him they cannot feed him the ball.

"Of course, you have to keep a close eye on Trezeguet because we all know his abilities, but he will play as the last man in attack, so the first thing we need to do is stop the Baniyas players giving him the ball. And that is a job for everyone."

Oliveira, meanwhile, has welcomed the arrival of several top class strikers to the Pro League.Along with Trezeguet, there is Asamoah Gyan, on loan at Al Ain, Grafite, a former German Footballer of the Year at Al Ahli, and Juan Manuel Olivera, a two-time top goalscorer in the Argentine league, at Al Wasl.

"There are some great strikers now in the league," said Oliveira, 31. "I don't know who the best is. That is for other people to say. What I would say is that we now have to respect every team because of these good players."

The fact UAE football can now boast such names is one of the reasons Oliveira, who joined Al Jazira in 2009, is not considering a return to Brazil.

The forward had a disappointing first season, injuring his knee midway through 2009/10. He returned to Brazil in August 2010 for a loan spell with Sao Paulo, his former club, where he worked his way back to full fitness.

Oliveira then came back to Jazira midway through last season and his 11 goals helped the Abu Dhabi club to the title.

"I am very happy here and so is my family," he said. "I have two years left on my contract, this season and the next one, and I have never thought about leaving.

"Everyone at the club has been fantastic to me. I don't want to go back to Brazil yet."

Baniyas, who finished second to Al Jazira in last season's Pro League, have struggled so far and Jorvan Vieira, the coach, said last week that he could be under pressure unless his team finds some form. But Vercauteren believes Baniyas are better than recent results would suggest.

"I saw Baniyas last week [when they lost 2-1 to Al Wasl] and they made a good impression on me," he said. "They could have scored more, they did create chances, and maybe were just a bit unlucky."

ncameron@thenational.ae


Follow The National Sport on @SprtNationalUAE & Neil Cameron on @NeilCameron5