Basaksehir continues Europa League campaign

Players of Medipol Basaksehir pose for a photo as they celebrate their victory at the end of the UEFA Europa League second match of the last 32 rounds between Medipol Basaksehir and Sporting Lizbon at the Fatih Terim Stadium in Istanbul, Turkey on February 27, 2020.

The 2019/20 UEFA Europa League has been on hold since March 12 due to COVID-19 outbreak. It was announced on June 17 that this season’s quarterfinals, semifinals and final would be played as a straight knockout tournament across four cities in Germany: Cologne, Duisburg, Dusseldorf and Gelsenkirchen. All these ties will be single-leg fixtures. The games will be played behind closed doors.

Basaksehir, which was crowned the champion in the pandemic-hit Turkish Super Lig last month, carries a 1-0 advantage to the away tie.

Joint top with Trabzonspor at the break, Okan Buruk’s men were crowned Super Lig champions for the first time. Ending Galatasaray, Besiktas and Fenerbahçe’s stronghold, Basaksehir became only the sixth team to win the Turkish title.

Mahmut Tekdemir and Demba Ba proved key for the club, and Edin Visca impressed with six goals in its final eight games played after the league competition restarted in early June.

Basaksehir’s first UEFA meeting with a team from Denmark ended in victory thanks to a late Visca penalty, his coolly converted 88th-minute strike settling a tightly contested encounter in Istanbul on March 12.

Copenhagen coach Staale Solbakken says Basaksehir has the edge in the tie.

“Basaksehir is the favorite with the 1-0 lead from the first leg, but anything can happen,” he said, adding that they had analyzed the Turkish champion well and were ready for the game.

Basaksehir coach Buruk has good memories at the Parken Stadium, where he lifted the EUFA Cup trophy with Galatasaray as a player in 2000.

The team to advance from the tie will take on the winner of LASK vs Manchester United last 16 tie in the quarterfinals.

The longest European campaign in LASK’s history looks set to end in the at Old Trafford as Manchester United hosts the Austrian side boasting a 5-0 lead from the first leg in Linz.

The Premier League giant is unbeaten in its last 13 Europa League home games, registering four wins out of four at Old Trafford this season and scoring 13 goals while conceding none. Its last three European home games have finished 3-0, 4-0 and 5-0.

Elsewhere, Ukrainian champion Shakhtar Donetsk has the against Wolfsburg winning the first leg 2-1 in Germany, but The Germans, who are bidding to reach a fourth European quarterfinal in four continental campaigns, will be looking to their excellent away record in this competition for inspiration as they take on their hosts in Kiev.

Also on Aug. 5, Inter and Getafe, who could not play their first leg match due to the coronavirus outbreak, will clash in Gelsenkirchen, Germany in a single-leg fixture.
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