Turkish teams draw continental heavyweights in Europa League draw

Turkish teams draw continental heavyweights in Europa League draw

ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News
Turkish teams draw continental heavyweights in Europa League draw

The ambassador for the UEFA Europa League final in Warsaw Jerzy Dudek presents the name Liverpool FC during the draw for the UEFA Europa League round of 32 on December 15, 2014 at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon. AFP Photo

Turkey’s last remaining participants in European competition, Beşiktaş and Trabzonspor, will face difficult respective tests against Liverpool and Napoli in the Europa League Round of 32 following a draw on Dec. 15 in Nyon, Switzerland.

Backed by the goalscoring exploits of Senegalese phenomenon Demba Ba, Beşiktaş won Group C with 12 points, one ahead of London giants Tottenham Hotspur. The Black Eagles will be heading back to England again for their tie against the Reds, who finished third in the Champions League group stage behind Real Madrid and Basel.

Beşiktaş will be hoping for a better performance against Liverpool this time after infamously conceding eight away at Anfield in the 2007-08 Champions League in the course of an 8-0 reverse.

Trabzonspor, meanwhile, finished runner-up in Group H behind an impressive Legia Warsaw, edging out Belgium’s Lokeren based on the teams’ head-to-head record. The Black Sea Storm, however, will be in tough against Napoli, who narrowly missed out on the Champions League this year after losing a playoff to Athletic Bilbao. The Neapolitans currently lie seventh in Italy’s Serie A.

The Round of 32 ties will be played on Feb. 19 and 26, with Beşiktaş to start away at Liverpool before hosting the Liverpudlians one week later. Trabzon, conversely, will start at home before traveling for the second leg at Naples’ imposing San Paolo Stadium.

The final will be held on May 27 in Warsaw.