Turkish teams ready for last group stage matches in Europa League

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 13.12.2018 01:24
Updated 13.12.2018 08:00

Beşiktaş, Fenerbahçe and Akhisarspor, three teams suffering in the Turkish Super League, will pursue victories in the last Europa League group matches today

This year's UEFA Europa League group stage comes to a close today, with a host of teams still looking to advance to the 24-team knockout phase.

Fenerbahçe, Beşiktaş and Akhisarspor will look to compensate for their losses in the Turkish Super League with some success in the Europa League.

In the sixth and final group match, Fenerbahçe will be hosted by Slovakia's Spartak Trnava.

The Yellow Canaries recovered from a 4-1 loss to Dinamo Zagreb in their first game, with a 2-0 victory against the Slovakian side. The win was followed by a 2-2 draw against Anderlecht and a rematch that ended in a 2-0 victory for Fenerbahçe.

In matchday 5, they secured a 0-0 draw with Dinamo Zagreb, picking up a total of eight points and the second spot in Group D.

While Fenerbahçe's history in European competition largely consists of victories, the veteran champion of Turkey's top-tier league has gone through one of its worst seasons in history at home. Last week it suffered a 3-0 loss against Akhisarspor that put them in the drop zone.

Meanwhile, Beşiktaş will square off Sweden's Malmö in its Group I game in Istanbul. It will count on a draw or a win to qualify for the knockout stages of the Europa League.

The Black Eagles started off well with a 3-1 victory against Norway's Sarpsborg but lost 2-0 to Malmö in their first game against the Swedish side. Despite a 4-2 loss to Genk and another 2-0 defeat to Sarpsborg in the rematch, they secured the second spot in the group with seven points.

Beşiktaş has so far won 86 matches in European competitions and lost 83. Currently fourth in the Turkish Super League - eight points behind table topper Medipol Başakşehir - the Istanbul powerhouse managed to maintain its climb to the top in recent weeks, with a 1-0 victory in the Galatasaray derby.

However, coach Şenol Güneş has little options for a strong starting 11 due to injuries and players not qualified for UEFA games, including Atiba and Güven Yalçın.

Six players will miss today's game and Güneş will likely rely on Quaresma on the right wing, Ljacic in the midfield, Mustafa Pektemek and Vagner Love the on the left. Media reports suggested that Gökhan Töre, Oğuzhan Özyakup and Cyle Larin will be on the bench in a game against Malmö. This is the 10th time Beşiktaş will face a Swedish side in European tournaments. Its record against Swedish outfits is mixed at best, with three wins, one draw and five defeats. Its past games against Malmö since the 1990-91 season ended with only one win. In Group J, Akhisarspor, which is currently 13th in the Turkish Super League, will host Belgium's Standard Liege. The team has little prospect of a win. It is currently at the bottom of its group with successive defeats to Krasnodar, Standard Liege and Sevilla.

GALATASARAY RETURNS TO EUROPA LEAGUE

Finishing third in its Champions League group, Galatasaray dropped to the Europa League round of 32 after a 2-3 loss against Porto on Tuesday in the UEFA Champions League.

Porto's goals came through Felipe in the 17th minute, Marega in the 42nd minute from a penalty and Sergio Oliveira in the 57th minute. Galatasaray two goals came through Sofiane Feghouli scoring in the 45th minute from a penalty and Eren Derdiyok in the 65th minute. Feghouli hit the crossbar from the penalty spot in the 67th minute and missed the chance to draw.

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