Copenhagen vs İstanbul Başakşehir Europa League preview

Copenhagen host İstanbul Başakşehir in their UEFA Europa League round of 16 second leg – all you need to know.

İstanbul Başakşehir travel to Copenhagen in the UEFA Europa League round of 16 on 5 August at 21:00 CET. This page will update with team news, quotes and expert analysis as kick-off approaches.

The teams

Copenhagen (DEN)
UEFA ranking: 39 (8)
Domestic position: 2 (final match: 26 July)
How they got here: Group B runners-up, 4-2 Celtic
Last season: group stage (fourth)
Previous UEFA Cup/Europa League best: round of 16 (2016/17)

İstanbul Başakşehir (TUR)
UEFA ranking: 71 (12)
Domestic position: champions (final match: 26 July)
How they got here: Group J winners, 5-4aet Sporting CP
Last season: third qualifying round (lost 1-0 v Burnley)
Previous UEFA Cup/Europa League best: group stage (2017/18)

Possible line-ups

Copenhagen: Johansson; Varela, Nelsson, Bjelland, Bengtsson; Biel, Zeca, Stage; Daramy, Wind, Falk
Out: Santos (suspended), Sigurdsson (unspecified), Fischer (groin), Nicolaj Thomsen (unspecified)
Doubtful: Boilesen (knee)
Misses next game if booked: Stage
Players added to squad: Nicolai Boilesen, Robert Mudražija
Players removed from squad: Dame N'Doye

İstanbul Başakşehir: Mert Günok; Júnior Caiçara, Škrtel, Epureanu, Clichy; Višća, İrfan Can Kahveci, Mahmut Tekdemir, Aleksić; Ba, Crivelli
Out: none
Misses next game if booked: Clichy, Crivelli, Gulbrandsen, İrfan Can Kahveci, Okan Buruk, Škrtel
Players added to squad: Emre Kaplan, Muhammed Emin Sarıkaya
Players removed from squad: Azubuike Okechukwu, Robinho

Reporter's view

From Copenhagen's perspective, this match could decide whether this goes down as a satisfactory season or not – the club having only finished runners-up in the Danish top flight after setting out as big favourites. Copenhagen have never truly found their best form this season but will be motivated to secure their first ever spot in the Europa League quarter-finals. Of course, that historic milestone will be equally tempting for İstanbul Başakşehir, who will look to defend their 1-0 lead and break new ground.
Sture Sandø

What the coaches say

Ståle Solbakken, Copenhagen coach: "It was good for us to get a break [after our final match of the season], and you don't lose much by taking four or five days off. [Başakşehir’s situation is] a bit like Juventus and Liverpool's; after securing the title, they changed the team a bit, but they were really good before they became champions. Now they have probably had their title celebrations and a mental break, so they are going to be ready for the match."

Okan Buruk, İstanbul Başakşehir coach: “We have an advantage from the first game. A goal will bring us a great advantage, we will go on the pitch with this in mind. We know how well Copenhagen plays the team game. A team that played the 4-4-2 system well in the first game and matches in the league. We know the good and bad aspects of our opponents. After our opponents’ pandemic period, they did not get the league results they wanted. We are aware of this, but as a game, we do not think it makes too much difference. A very difficult game is waiting for us tomorrow."

Previous meetings

• İstanbul Başakşehir's first UEFA meeting with a team from Denmark ended in victory thanks to another late Višća penalty, his coolly converted 88th-minute strike settling a tightly contested encounter in Istanbul on 12 March.

• Copenhagen have been paired with Turkish opposition just once previously, losing 3-1 away to Galatasaray and beating them 1-0 at home – both games with current head coach Ståle Solbakken in charge – in the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League group stage. Additionally, B1903, one of the clubs that merged to form Copenhagen in 1992, were 2-1 aggregate winners against Trabzonspor in the 1991/92 UEFA Cup third round.

Form guide

• Copenhagen regained the Superliga crown in 2018/19, becoming Danish champions for the third time in four seasons – and 13th in all. They lost on penalties to Crvena zvezda in this season's UEFA Champions League third qualifying round but were 3-2 aggregate winners over Latvian champions Riga in the UEFA Europa League play-offs.

• The Danish club's seventh UEFA Europa League group stage participation brought a third qualification, though they managed just five goals in their six games, scoring once in each of the first five – including two 1-0 wins against Lugano and three 1-1 draws – before going down 0-1 on Matchday 6 at home to Malmö.

• The 4-2 aggregate win against Celtic means Copenhagen are competing in the UEFA Europa League round of 16 for only the second time. They lost their previous tie at this stage, falling to Ajax in 2016/17 (2-1 h, 0-2 a), and have never gone past the round of 16 in any major European competition.

• Copenhagen's 3-1 home win against Riga in August is the only one of their last 11 European matches at Parken in which they have scored more than one goal, the other ten having yielded just six in total for the home side. Their European record in the Danish capital this season is W3 D3 L1, while their overall home figures for the UEFA Europa League, group stage to final, are W9 D7 L10.

• Copenhagen have won three of the nine UEFA competition ties in which they have lost the first away leg, including the most recent, against Qarabağ in the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League play-off (0-1 a, 2-1 h). That tie was one of three in which the first-leg score was 0-1, the Danish club’s only success in that instance having come one round earlier in the same season, against Vardar (4-1 h).

İstanbul Başakşehir
• This is İstanbul Başakşehir's fifth successive European campaign, their UEFA competition bow having been made in 2015/16. They ensured a return this term by finishing second to Galatasaray in a closely fought 2018/19 Süper Lig title race.

• Two defeats by Olympiacos in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round put İstanbul Başakşehir into the UEFA Europa League group stage for the second time. Their previous campaign, in 2017/18, ended after six matches as their tally of eight points left them in third place behind Braga and Ludogorets.

• This season they finished first in their group despite two heavy defeats to second-placed Roma (0-4 a, 0-3 h). However, they won twice against Wolfsberg and drew 1-1 at home to Mönchengladbach before leapfrogging their German hosts to the Group J summit in a momentous 2-1 win on Matchday 6. February’s thrilling victory over Sporting has put them into the round of 16 for the first time, making this the club's longest European campaign.

• The Istanbul club have won just three of their 14 European away fixtures (D3 L8) but two of those victories have come this season – at Wolfsberg and Mönchengladbach. They had lost their three previous continental fixtures without scoring – at Burnley, Olympiacos and Roma.

• İstanbul Başakşehir have never previously won the home leg of a UEFA competition tie.

Links & trivia

• Copenhagen defender Ragnar Sigurdsson has played six times for Iceland against Turkey, heading both goals in his country's 2-1 home win in a June 2019 UEFA EURO 2020 qualifier.

• İstanbul Başakşehir coach Okan Buruk and his Copenhagen opposite number Solbakken played against each other, both as second-half substitutes, in Norway's 2-0 friendly victory against Turkey in Istanbul on 23 February 2000.

• This is Solbakken's 42nd UEFA Europa League game, group stage to final, in charge of Copenhagen – the most in the competition by any head coach with a single club, three more than Unai Emery (Sevilla).

• Višća's winning goal in the first leg was the İstanbul Başakşehir skipper's sixth in the competition, making him the joint leading scorer in this season's UEFA Europa League, group stage to final. It was also his fourth goal in the knockout phase and third from the penalty spot in successive matches.

• Copenhagen finished second in the 2019/20 Superliga, 14 points behind champions FC Midtjylland, to requalify for next season's UEFA Europa League.

• İstanbul Başakşehir claimed their maiden Turkish Süper Lig title on 19 July, earning themselves a first appearance in the UEFA Champions League group stage.

Penalty shoot-outs
• Copenhagen's record in three UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W2 L1:
3-2 v Ferencváros, 2003/04 UEFA Cup first round
4-3 v Atalanta, 2018/19 UEFA Europa League play-off
6-7 v Crvena zvezda, 2019/20 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round

• İstanbul Başakşehirspor have yet to feature in a UEFA penalty shoot-out.

Source: UEFA


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