Europa League: Başaksehir needs win for last 32
Başakşehir will need a victory at Bundesliga leader Borussia Mönchengladbach in a Europa League game on Dec 12 to advance.
The two other Turkish clubs in the competition, Beşiktaş and Trabzonspor, have no chances of advancing and both teams are expected to rest their stars on the European stage.
Beşiktaş visits Wolverhampton Wanderers and Trabzonspor plays Basel in an away game.
Back-to-back victories over Wolfsberg had lifted Başakşehir to the top of Group J, but a 3-0 loss at home against AS Roma put the club’s dreams of going through to the knockout phase of a UEFA competition for the first time on hold.
Mönchengladbach leads the group ahead of Roma on goal difference with eight points and Başakşehir trails by one point.
A draw will not be enough for Başakşehir, having lost both its group games against the Italians, so it must win in Germany.
However, the club has won just two of its 12 European away fixtures, losing seven of them.
Also on Dec. 12, Last season’s runner-up Arsenal and Steven Gerrard’s Rangers have their sights fixed on the knockout phase with 19 clubs competing for the final 11 places.
Interim Arsenal boss Freddie Ljungberg will look to lead the Gunners into the last 32 after Unai Emery was sacked following last month’s 2-1 home loss to Eintracht Frankfurt.
Dec. 9’s 3-1 victory at West Ham ended the club’s worst winless run since 1977 and Arsenal just requires a point at Standard Liege in Belgium to progress from Group F.
Rangers missed out on its first major silverware in almost a decade at the weekend following an agonizing 1-0 defeat by Celtic in the Scottish League Cup final.
Gerrard’s side dominated large parts of the game but was unable to find a way past an inspired Fraser Forster, who saved a second-half penalty from Alfredo Morelos.
Rangers is top of Group G and will advance if it avoids a second defeat of the competition to Swiss champion Young Boys.
“We’ve got a huge game on Thursday and there’s no better game to bounce back,” Gerrard said.
“We have to soak it up, remember it and be ready to go and give ourselves another opportunity. That type of performance will get us where we want to get to.
“It’s raw right now but this is football at the top. We’ll suffer and then we’ll bounce back.”
Unbeaten Celtic has wrapped up top spot in Group E ahead of a trip to Romania’s CFR Cluj, which is second in the section.
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could well stick with a similar side to the one that lost 2-1 in Astana with qualification already assured.
The Norwegian fielded a starting team in Kazakhstan with an average age of 22 years and 26 days, United’s youngest ever in major European competition.
United leads AZ Alkmaar by a point in Group L going into their showdown at Old Trafford.