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UEFA Europa League Preview: Trabzonspor v Juventus

25 February 2014 22:47

History is very much against Trabzonspor as they seek to overturn a first-leg deficit and knock Juventus out of the UEFA Europa League.

The Turkish Super Lig side, still acclimatising to life under new boss Hami Mandirali, will begin the second leg of their round-of-32 tie trailing 2-0 following goals from Pablo Daniel Osvaldo and Paul Pogba in Turin last week.

Trabzonspor have not beaten a Serie A side at home since 1982, and will have to better the 1-0 scoreline recorded on that occasion in a 1-0 UEFA Cup first-round victory over Inter.

However, Turkey does not exactly hold pleasant recent memories for Juventus, as it was a 1-0 defeat to Galatasaray that dumped the Italian club into the Europa League during the final round of UEFA Champions League group matches in December.

Additionally, Trabzonspor have an impressive continental record at the Huseyin Avni Aker Stadium to lift their spirits.

They are unbeaten in seven matches on home turf in Europe and had not lost in 12 UEFA games this term until they ran into Antonio Conte’s men - who are without a victory in their last four European away trips, losing three.

Nevertheless, Juventus remain firm favourites and have the considerable carrot of this season's Europa League final being staged at the Juventus Stadium

If that were not enough, a spicy tie with domestic rivals Fiorentina appears to be in store for the round of 16, with the latter having taken a 3-1 advantage over Esbjerg back to Florence.

Despite his team's encouraging position, Conte has spoken of the need for Juventus to deliver an improved performance at both ends of the field in the second leg.

Yet it remains to be seen whether the former midfielder will opt to field a full-strength side against Trabzonspor, given that a glamorous Serie A fixture at Milan awaits on Sunday.

While Juventus hold a healthy advantage in their domestic league, having dropped only nine points all season, Trabzonspor have not been able to enjoy similar success.

Mandirali's men lie seventh in the Super Lig, 15 points behind leaders Fenerbahce, and face a battle to secure European football for next season.

Indeed, the appointment of Mandirali owed much to Trabzonspor's poor form as he stepped up from his role as assistant following Mustafa Akcay's resignation earlier this month.

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Info

Competition
UEFA Europa League
Date
27 February 2014
Kick-off
21:05
Half-time
0 - 2
Full-time
0 - 2
On aggregate
0 - 4
Venue
Hüseyin Avni Aker Stadyumu (Trabzon)
Attendance
20686

Goals

0 - 1
0 - 2
33' P. Osvaldo
 (assist by S. Giovinco)

Lineups

Substitutes

# Player Bookings
20
15
21
10
14
26
30

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