Fenerbahçe on front foot for Austria Wien Europa League playoff

Turkish Süper Lig powerhouse Fenerbahçe will be on the front foot when it goes up against Austria Wien in the UEFA Europa League playoff second-leg Thursday.

The Yellow Canaries hold a two-goal advantage after winning the first leg in the Austrian capital.

Fenerbahçe will draw inspiration from its dominating domestic league performance, beating in-form Adana Demirspor 4-2 to go top in the Süper Lig Monday.

The Istanbul-based side will look to Enner Valencia for a repeat of his performance against Adana, where the Ecuadorian striker hit a crucial double.

Fenerbahçe will also be boosted by the return of experienced attacker Joshua King. The 30-year-old was rested against Adana due to muscle fatigue following the match in Vienna.

The club’s wunderkind Arda Güler has also been named in the primary squad for the Austria Wien match. The 17-year-old missed Fener’s last match due to family reasons.

The match at Istanbul’s Ülker Stadium will kick off at 8 p.m. local time (5 p.m. GMT) and will be officiated by Spanish referee Jesus Gil Manzano.

Sivas hosts Malmö

Turkish Cup winner Sivasspor, in the meanwhile, will welcome Swedish side Malmö to the central Anatolian city of Sivas for their Europa League playoff second-leg tie.

Sivas, which is trailing the Swedes 3-1 on aggregate, must fight back to secure a place in the group stages.

Coach Rıza Çalımbay said they were aiming for the group stages despite the disadvantage.

“The score of the first game is not important, the important thing is to start the game well. The sooner we score, the better. I believe my team will get into positions. In the last league match we played, we created a lot of positions … The important thing is we utilize them. If we can, the match can end very differently,” he said.

“I think the most important thing is the team and team play. When you perform well as a team, you get good results,” he added.

Başakşehir visits Antwerp

Another Turkish side, Başakşehir will also be in action Thursday night, battling Belgian team Antwerp in the UEFA European Conference League playoffs second-leg.

The playoff is tied 1-1 after Antwerp denied Başakşehir two points at Istanbul’s Fatih Terim Stadium.

Manuel Schuettengruber from the Austrian Football Federation will officiate the match, scheduled to kick off at 8:45 Istanbul time (5:45 p.m. GMT).

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