Both sides are seeking to end lengthy absences from the UEFA Champions League group stage as they meet in the first leg of their play-off.
Article top media content
F.C. Copenhagen and Trabzonspor are both seeking to end lengthy absences from the UEFA Champions League group stage as they meet in the Danish capital for the first leg of their play-off.
The home side are aiming to reach the competition's last 32 for the first time in six years, while Trabzonspor's sole previous appearance came 11 seasons ago.
This is the sides' first fixture and, while Copenhagen have plenty of recent experience of Turkish opponents – including at this stage of last season's UEFA Europa Conference League – Trabzonspor have not faced a Danish club in more than 30 years.
While Copenhagen have never conceded a goal at home to Turkish visitors, Trabzonspor have yet to score in Denmark.
Copenhagen are aiming to reach the group stage for the fifth time, and the first since 2016/17. No other Danish side has featured more than twice.
On their last group stage appearance six seasons ago, Copenhagen finished third in Group G behind Leicester City and Porto despite taking nine points from their six fixtures, losing only once and conceding no goals at home. That was the third of their four campaigns in the UEFA Champions League proper to have ended at that point, the exception 2010/11 when they lost to Chelsea in the round of 16.
Copenhagen's record in UEFA Champions League play-offs is W2 L5, the most recent tie bringing defeat on away goals against Qarabağ in 2017/18 (0-1 a, 2-1 h). A loss on penalties to Crvena zvezda in the 2019/20 third qualifying round made it ten eliminations in their 13 previous UEFA Champions League qualification campaigns.
In 2021/22 Jess Thorup's team came through three qualifying rounds to reach the inaugural UEFA Europa Conference League group stage, where they won five of their six games to top Group F. However, they were subsequently brushed aside by PSV Eindhoven in the round of 16 (4-4 a, 0-4 h).
Copenhagen claimed their 14th Danish league title, all since 1993, and their fourth in seven seasons in 2021/22.
The Danish side won away (2-1) and home (5-0) against Sivasspor in last season's UEFA Europa Conference League qualifying play-offs, making their overall record against Turkish sides W4 L2. They have won all three home matches, scoring nine goals without conceding.
Trabzonspor are bidding to reach the group stage for only the second time. In 2011/12 they finished third in Group B behind Inter and CSKA Moskva having picked up seven points, their sole victory a 1-0 win in Milan on Matchday 1.
That season was also Trabzonspor's third and most recent previous appearance in UEFA Champions League qualifying, after 2004/05 and 2005/06. They lost to Benfica in the third qualifying round (0-2 a, 1-1 h) but were subsequently installed in the group stage after Fenerbahçe were disqualified.
The Black Sea team, who were beaten by PSV Eindhoven (1-2 h, 1-4 a) in the 2011/12 UEFA Europa League round of 32 after transferring across from the UEFA Champions League, have subsequently featured in that competition's group stage three times, reaching the last 32 in 2013/14 and 2014/15, but making no further progress in 2019/20.
In 2021/22, Trabzonspor overcame Molde 4-3 on penalties in the UEFA Europa Conference League third qualifying round (3-3 h, 1-1 a) only to lose to eventual champions Roma in the play-offs (1-2 h, 0-3 a).
Trabzonspor claimed their first Turkish Süper Lig title since 1983/84, and their seventh overall, last season and are now attempting to become only the fourth club from their country to feature in multiple UEFA Champions League group campaigns after Galatasaray (16 appearances), Beşiktaş (eight) and Fenerbahçe (six).
All four of Trabzonspor's previous games with Danish opponents came against B1903 København, one of the clubs that merged to form F.C. Copenhagen in 1992. The Turkish side won 1-0 at home in the 1977/78 European Cup first round first leg but were eliminated following a 2-0 away defeat; they were also beaten on their next visit to Copenhagen, 1-0 in the 1991/92 UEFA Cup third round first leg to set up a 2-1 aggregate defeat.
Links and trivia
Trabzonspor forward Andreas Cornelius came through the youth ranks at Copenhagen, making his Danish Superliga debut in April 2012. He scored 18 goals in 32 league matches in 2012/13, earning a move to English Premier League side Cardiff, but swiftly returned to Copenhagen, scoring 28 more league goals in 91 matches over the next four seasons.
Cornelius won three Danish Superliga titles with Copenhagen in 2012/13, 2015/16 and 2016/17, adding the Danish Cup in 2014/15, 2015/16 and 2016/17. The striker also claimed the Superliga Golden Boot and Player of the Year awards in 2012/13.
Cornelius was a Copenhagen team-mate of Peter Ankersen from 2015 to 2017.
Trabzonspor right-back Jens Stryger Larsen is also Danish and joined Copenhagen's local rivals Brøndby aged 15 in 2006, making his senior debut in November 2009. The defender made 105 appearances for the club before signing for Nordsjælland in 2013/14, playing 38 matches in his sole campaign.
Stryger Larsen's record against Copenhagen is W3 D4 L9. His own goal gave Copenhagen a 1-0 home win against Nordsjælland in the Danish Cup semi-final first leg on 26 March 2014.
Stryger Larsen played alongside Nicolai Boilesen in Brøndby's youth teams.
Has played in Turkey:
Khouma Babacar (Alanyaspor 2020–22)
Babacar's Alanyaspor team-mates included Manolis Siopis and Anastasios Bakasetas.
Have also played together:
Marios Oikonomou & Anastasios Bakasetas (AEK Athens 2018/19)
Khouma Babacar & Vitor Hugo (Fiorentina 2017/18)
Nicolai Boilesen & Stefano Denswil (Ajax youth, senior 2009–15)
Mathew Ryan & Stefano Denswil (Club Brugge 2015)
Lukas Lerager & Andreas Cornelius (Bordeaux 2018/19)
Zeca, Marios Oikonomou & Manolis Siopis, Anastasios Bakasetas (Greece)
Mohamed Daramy, Nicolai Boilesen, Peter Ankersen, Rasmus Falk & Jens Stryger Larsen, Andreas Cornelius (Denmark)