The Yellow Canaries will be hoping to keep their first clean sheet against Russian opponents as they welcome Lokomotiv Moscow in their round of 32 opener in the UEFA Europa League
As the political crisis between Turkey and Russia rumbles on, Fenerbahçe will host Russian opponents Locomotiv Moscow today in Istanbul. The Turkish powerhouses have yet to keep a clean sheet in four encounters with Russian rivals as they look to make a positive start to the round of 32. Ahead of the critical match, the Fenerbahçe administration warned their fans to not stir up trouble because UEFA may fine the club if any problems occur. The sides are meeting for the first time in UEFA competition. Fenerbahçe's record in four matches against Russian teams is W1 D2 L1 (W1 D1 L0 at home - W0 D1 L1 in Russia). Lokomotiv's record in eight games against Turkish clubs is W2 D3 L3 (W1 D1 L2 at home - W1 D2 L1 in Turkey).
Fenerbahçe are unbeaten in five European fixtures (W2 D3) since starting the group stage with a 3-1 home loss to Molde. Lokomotiv are undefeated in four European away games (W2 D2). The Railwaymen faced Turkish Super League opposition in the group stage, twice drawing 1-1 with Beşiktaş. Fenerbahçe made it to the semi-finals when they last reached the round of 32, in 2012/13.
Lokomotiv lost to Athletic Club on the most recent occasion they progressed this far, in 2011/12. Their greatest European achievement to date is making it to the semi-finals of back-to-back UEFA Cup Winners' Cups in 1997/98 and 1998/99.
Lokomotiv's Portuguese midfielder Manuel Fernandes played for Fenerbahçe's city rivals Beşiktaş from 2011 to 2014. He and Fenerbahçe's Mehmet Topal were team-mates at Valencia CF from 2010 to 2011.
Fenerbahçe center-back Bruno Alves played in Russia for FC Zenit from 2010 to 2013; fellow defender Caner Erkin was at PFC CSKA Moskva from 2007 to 2010. Lokomotiv's Vedran Corluka played alongside Fenerbahçe's Michal Kadlec during a loan spell at Bayer 04 Leverkusen in the second half of the 2011/12 season. Fenerbahçe come into the first leg having played exactly 200 UEFA games with the record W71 D41 L88. Fenerbahçe coach since June, Portuguese technician Vitor Pereira was Andre Villas-Boas's assistant when FC Porto claimed the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League. He later won two league titles as the Dragons' coach and a domestic double in Greece with Olympiacos FC in 2014/15.
An eight-times-capped Tajik international, Igor Cherevchenko lifted four Russian Cups as a Lokomotiv player between 1996 and 2001, and a fifth as coach last term. He is the first man to have won the competition as a player and a coach. Cherevchenko has been on the club's coaching staff since 2008. Meanwhile, unbeaten in their last ten home games against Italian sides, Galatasaray face a not inconsiderable task as they look to eliminate Lazio from the UEFA Europa League on Thursday.