Beşiktaş, Trabzonspor eye victory on European stage

Beşiktaş, Trabzonspor eye victory on European stage

Beşiktaş, Trabzonspor eye victory on European stage

Beşiktaş’s European club competition record in England is not great, with two wins and five losses. These defeats included a humiliating 6-0 loss to Leeds United in 2000 and an even worse 8-0 defeat at Liverpool in 2007. AA photo

Beşiktaş and Trabzonspor hope to impress their fans in Europe in their second games in the Europa League tonight.

Beşiktaş travels to north London for a tough match against Tottenham Hotspur, while the Black Sea team hosts Legia Warsaw of Poland in Trabzon.

Trabzonspor had a winning start to its campaign two weeks ago, beating Metalist Kharkiv 2-1, but Beşiktaş’s opener was a disappointment for the Istanbul club, as it was held to a 1-1 draw at home against minnow Greek side Asteras Tripolis.

Beşiktaş must now make its supporters happy at White Hart Lane by putting its Europa League campaign back on track, but the numbers are against the Black Eagles.

Beşiktaş’s UEFA club competition record in England is two wins and five loses, including two humiliating defeats, a 6-0 loss to Leeds United on Sept. 26, 2000, and an 8-0 defeat at Liverpool Oct. 6, 2007. 

Tottenham, on the other hand, has won 10 of its last 13 European home games, losing just one 3-1 to SL Benfica in last season’s Europa League round of 16.

The two teams have met only once in the past, when Hossam Ghaly and Dimitar Berbatov scored as Tottenham beat Jean Tigana’s Beşiktaş 2-0 in the 2006-2007 UEFA Cup group stage.

Warsaw eyes home final

In Trabzon, the home team will play against an eager Legia Warsaw, with this season’s UEFA Europa League final being played in the club’s home.

Warsaw defender Jakub Rzezniczak has told that his side is full of confidence, as it seeks revenge against Trabzonspor, which handed them a pair of 2-0 group stage defeats last term.

“We have beaten Lokeren, and now have the same plan against Trabzonspor. We [will] go to Turkey to get three points,” said a determined Rzezniczak, who is certain Henning Berg’s men have stepped up a level since last season.

“If you compare last year with the current team, you would say we are much more experienced now.

Now we know better how to deal with the competition. If people feel Trabzonspor are group favorites, I have nothing against that, but I am sure we can surprise them,” said the 27-year-old Polish international. “With all respect to Trabzonspor, I hope we can take six points off them. We lost to them twice last year and now want to pay them back. I am sure this campaign will be very different.”

With the UEFA Europa League culminating in Warsaw in May, there is extra motivation for the squad to reach a European final for the first time. “It is true that we speak about it – playing the Europa final in our city. It is the club’s dream, but I don’t want to talk too much about it. We have to go step by step. We were not amazing against Lokeren, but we won, so the job was done,” said right-back Rzezniczak, who is in his 10th season with Legia since making his debut in August 2004.

Now, after lifting several trophies domestically, he hopes to help the club have a premiere in the UEFA competition.

“I have won four Polish Cups and three league titles with Legia,” he said. “I have a lot of good memories, but hope the best things are still ahead of me. Legia is growing as a club and a team, and sooner or later we will be in the Champions League – the place where we should be.”