(Translated by Thomas Snaith)
After over 3 long years away from European group stage football, Trabzonspor are back! They ended the SüperLig season of 2018/2019 in 4th place behind several clubs from Istanbul- Galatasaray, Basaksehir and Besiktas. At the end of the season, Trabzonspor were 6 points behind Champions Galatasaray and 15 points ahead of the 5th placed team. This Summer they qualified for the group stages of the UEFA Europa League. Their last participation was four years ago. Back then they were kicked out of the competition by SSC Napoli during the last 16 stage of the UEL.
Trabzonspor, the 6-time Turkish Champions are back at the top. The proved their quality last weekend, beating Besiktas at home 4:1. Just like the end of last season (2018/2019), Trabzonspor are currently in 4th place of the Süper Lig. All teams that ended the season ahead of Tranzonspor are all currently lower than 4th place. Trabzonspor are doing well.
OBI MIKEL & STURRIDGE
The Turkish side have proven to be packed with quality. When reviewing the names of players listed in their squad, there are some familiar faces: Obi Mikel, the Nigerian midfielder who played for Chelsea FC for 10 years. When FCB faced Chelsea in the Champions League Season of 2013/2013 he played in both fixtures, but failed to beat FCB.
Trabzonspor has a lot of offensive quality. if we continue to play our game we will do well.
The other big name player is Michael Sturridge. He was a part of the Chelsea FC team FCB faced in the Europa League, as well as a part of the Liverpool FC team when FCB faced them in the Champions League, but on both occasions Sturridge was not substituted on.
No easy challenge
Both players were on the pitch during Tabzonspor´s 1st group stage fixture against Getafe, where the Turks lost 0:1 in Spain. The pressure is on for Trabzonspor to win their next fixture against FC Basel 1893. After their 5:0 victory against FC Krasnodar, FCB travel to the black sea and will attempt to continue their solid European campaign. FCB will be lifted after their recent success in the Swiss League, even though the “Bebbi” won’t be able to rely on injured Ricky van Wolfswinkel, Zdravko Kuzmanovic and Edon Zhegrova.
We had a great start to the group stage but i am expecting a different game tomorrow night, especially as we are playing away from home.
Basel´s chances of success are intact, however FCB´s opponent is still a top Turkish team with a lot of quality. We hope that FCB´s recent winning series won´t be disrupted in northern Turkey.