Following Burnley’s win over Aberdeen last week the Premier League side will now face Basaksehir in the Europa League play offs, which could turn out to be a very tricky tie for the Premier League club.
Basaksehir have been one of the most consistent teams in Turkey during the past four years and will prove a test for Sean Dyche’s Burnley.
Under the management of former Turkish national team manager Abdullah Avci, the Istanbul club was founded in 1990 with the name ‘Istanbul Buyuksehir Belediyespor’ but changed it to Basaksehir at the start of the 2014/15 season.
Due to only being formed under 30 years ago the club haven’t got a decent fanbase despite their success in recent seasons. After consecutive 4th place finishes back in 2014/15 and 2015/16, Basaksehir managed to finish the league 2nd behind Besiktas in 2016/17 and they saw their title challenge fall last season when they finished on 70 points.
The Istanbul club have a lot of players who’ve played in the Premier League before and their strength in depth is good. Their first choice Volkan Babacan, is also the No.1 for Turkey’s national team. Brazilian right-back Junior Caicara joined from Schalke and has been ever-present since arriving in Turkey.
Former Arsenal and Manchester City left-back Gael Clichy joined the club last summer and enjoyed a decent debut season.
At the heart of the defence, the club have Alex Epureanu who’s one of the most important players in the team, as he’s usually the man who organises attacks from the back. Their 23-year old promising Ghanaian centre-back Joseph Attamah mainly partnered Epureanu last season.
Basaksehir’s most important player, Emre Belozoglu, is now 38-years old but despite his age, he’s the heart of the team. The Turkish club also have former Leicester City midfielder Gokhan Inler at their disposal, alongside Mahmut Tekdemir, another Turkish international.
For the wing positions, the club have former Southampton player Eljaro Elia, who scored 8 goals for the club last season. Also, Bosnian Edin Visca is one of the club’s main goal threats from the right wing, and he scored 14 goals and made 17 assists. Former Fulham and Birmingham player Kerim Frei is also playing for the club and could still be a threat from the bench.
Basaksehir’s main goalscoring threat is former Premier League star Emmanuel Adebayor. Now approaching the final stages of his career, Adebayor has settled in Turkey with Basaksehir and the 34 year old scored 17 goals in all competitions last season.
The Turkish club also have Arda Turan, a former La Liga star but it seems despite being just 31 years old of age, his best days seem behind him. Turan recently picked up a 10-game ban in Turkish Super Lig following an attack on the assistant referee, and he’s been more of a topic in the magazine pages instead of football.
Last year, Basaksehir came very close to qualifying for the Champions League but they were eliminated by Sevilla, after being denied by the woodwork in the very last minute. The team is perfectly organised, and have a very compact structure. Under Avci, they are tactically very well equipped to compete in European matches.
Finally, Basaksehir recently signed former Dortmund midfielder Milos Jojic who’s seen as a long-term successor to Emre Belozoglu.