Curtain raises in new Süper Lig season
Defending champions Trabzonspor will take on newcomer Istanbulspor in an away game on Aug. 5 in the opening game of the new Süper Lig season.
Trabzonspor won its first league title in almost 30 years in May and the Black Sea side’s supporters were happy to see their team adding the Turkish Super Cup to its museum last week.
Abdullah Avcı, the club’s coach, believes more success is on the way.
“To be in this city, to be with you, to see your energy makes me delighted,” the former Turkish national team coach told supporters after his players comfortably beat Sivasspor 4-0 in the Super Cup final.
“We are winning, and we will continue winning. We need to ask for more to write a new story, and we started with this victory.”
In addition to its fight to defend the league title, Trabzonspor eagerly wants to be in the Champions League group stage, both for the prestige and the financial advantages.
The obstacle between the group stage and the Turkish champion will be Copenhagen, which will host Trabzonspor for a third qualification round first leg match on Aug. 6, before the return game on Aug. 24.
“We will first play our league game, and then launch our Champions League campaign,” Avcı said. “Winning those games are our short-term targets, and I know that we will achieve those.”
Trabzonspor kept its squad intact in the transfer season, replacing just a couple of players, while its main opponents had major changes.
Fenerbahçe brought in Jorge Jesus of Portugal as its new coach in June, while Galatasaray preferred its former player Okan Buruk for the post.
Beşiktaş starts the season under Valerien Ismael, who was signed in March.
Fenerbahçe also saw a major overhaul of its squad, with nine players, including former Real Madrid and Arsenal star Mesut Özil, leaving the Istanbul club.
Jesus brought in 10 players, eight of them being foreigners.
Last season’s runner-up will start the new season with a home game against newcomer Ümraniyespor on Aug. 8.
Galatasaray, which will be absent from the European stage after finishing the league in the 13th spot last season, starts its campaign at Antalyaspor on Aug. 7.
Coach Buruk was happy with the performances of his players in the preparation stage, but still acknowledged that the squad needs additions.
“We want to make our team stronger, it will be a tough season,” said Buruk, who lifted the UEFA Cup with Galatasaray as a player in 2000.
“After last year’s failure, we must do much better this year. Our players and the club board are doing their best. The bigger the squad, the better chances we will have to chase the title until the very end.”
Beşkitaş has also seen major changes in its squad and will play its first game of the new season at home against Kayserispor on Aug. 6.
Elsewhere in the first week of the Süper Lig season, Sivasspor hosts Gaziantep on Aug. 6.
Alanyaspor visits Karagümrük on Aug. 7 when Adana Demirspor also travels to Giresunspor.
Başakşehir hosts Kasımpaşa and Ankaragücü plays Konyaspor at home in Aug. 8’s games.
The Süper Lig will pause between Nov. 13 and Dec. 23 for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and there will not be a winter break.
The season will conclude on May 28, 2023.