İstanbul Başakşehir face a difficult task to reach the last 16 as they face a 3-1 first-leg deficit against knockout phase regulars Sporting CP.
Turkish Süper Lig high fliers İstanbul Başakşehir face a difficult task to qualify for the UEFA Europa League round of 16 as they seek to overturn a 3-1 first-leg deficit against knockout phase regulars Sporting CP.
• The Istanbul club reached the round of 32 after topping a highly competitive Group J thanks to a sensational last-minute winner in their final fixture away to Borussia Mönchengladbach – a result that eliminated the then Bundesliga league leaders from the competition. Sporting, meanwhile, finished runners-up in Group D to Austrian side LASK, the Portuguese club's final tally of 12 points being two better than that of their Turkish opponents.
• Sporting were the dominant team for much of the clubs' first encounter in Lisbon, racing into a 3-0 lead with goals from Sebastián Coates, newly-signed striker Andraž Šporar and Luciano Vietto, but their Turkish visitors got themselves back into the tie through a 77th-minute Edin Višća penalty.
• İstanbul Başakşehir's only meetings with Portuguese opposition before this tie came in the 2017/18 UEFA Europa League group stage. They lost 2-1 at Braga before winning the return fixture in Istanbul by the same scoreline, Višća grabbing the opening goal.
• Sporting have drawn all three of their previous away matches against Turkish teams in UEFA competition. The most recent such encounter came on Matchday 2 of the 2015/16 UEFA Europa League, when they held Beşiktaş 1-1 in Istanbul. Their record in two-legged knockout ties against Turkish opposition is W1 L1.
• This is İstanbul Başakşehir's fifth successive European campaign, their UEFA competition bow having been made in 2015/16. They ensured a return this term by finishing second to Galatasaray in a closely fought 2018/19 Süper Lig title race.
• Two defeats by Olympiacos in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round put İstanbul Başakşehir into the UEFA Europa League group stage for the second time. Their previous campaign, in 2017/18, ended after six matches as their tally of eight points left them in third place behind Braga and Ludogorets.
• This season they finished first in their group despite two heavy defeats to second-placed Roma (0-4 a, 0-3 h). However, they won twice against Wolfsberg and drew 1-1 at home to Mönchengladbach before leapfrogging their German hosts to the Group J summit thanks to Enzo Crivelli's added-time strike in a momentous 2-1 win on Matchday 6.
• The Istanbul club have won just three of their 13 European home fixtures (D5 L5), scoring ten goals and conceding 13. The Matchday 5 reverse against Roma, however, was their first home defeat in the UEFA Europa League proper (W2 D3).
• İstanbul Başakşehir have lost only one previous first leg away in UEFA competition, 0-2 at AZ Alkmaar in their very first European encounter – in the 2015/16 UEFA Europa League third qualifying round – and it triggered elimination as they also lost the return, 1-2 in Istanbul.
• Sporting qualified automatically for the 2019/20 UEFA Europa League group stage by winning last season's Portuguese Cup, a penalty shoot-out victory in the final against Porto adding to a third-placed finish in the Liga. They also reached the UEFA Europa League round of 32, where they were knocked out by Villarreal.
• Sporting's ninth appearance in the UEFA Europa League proper – a competition record – kicked off with a seventh group stage appearance, which brought further progress for the sixth time thanks to maximum points at home plus a 2-0 win in Norway. They were defeated, however at both PSV Eindhoven (2-3) and LASK (0-3).
• The Lisbon side's best performance in the competition came in 2011/12, when they reached the semi-finals. They have won only three of their previous seven round of 32 ties, most recently against Astana in 2017/18 (3-1 a, 3-3 h), and their away record at this stage of the competition is W1 D3 L3.
• Sporting's record away from home in the UEFA Europa League knockout phase is W1 D5 L7, the only victory coming in Kazakhstan two years ago. They were unbeaten outside Lisbon, however, in last season's competition and have lost just two of their last seven European away fixtures (W3 D2).
• Sporting have qualified 21 times from the 31 UEFA competition ties in which they led after the first leg in Lisbon, most recently overcoming Viktoria Plzeň after extra time in the 2017/18 UEFA Europa League round of 16 (2-0 h, 1-2 a). Only once previously have they won the first leg in Lisbon by a 3-1 scoreline, against Feyenoord in the 1985/86 UEFA Cup first round, and on that occasion they went through after a 1-2 second-leg reverse in Rotterdam.
UEFA Europa League squad changes
• İstanbul Başakşehir
In: Gökhan Inler
Out: Mert Çelik, Muzaffer Kahrıman, Onur Güney, Arda Turan
In: Rodrigo Battaglia, Stefan Ristovski, Andraž Šporar (Slovan Bratislava)
Out: Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United), Fernando (end of loan), Luiz Phellype
Links and trivia
• In addition to scoring on his European debut for Sporting in the first leg, January signing Šporar found the target against another Turkish club in this season's UEFA Europa League group stage, registering twice in Slovan Bratislava's 4-2 home win over Beşiktaş. The Slovenian international is now the competition’s joint top scorer with six goals.
• Sporting defender Luís Neto spent 2017/18 on loan at Turkish club Fenerbahçe, making 13 Süper Lig appearances. His team-mates there included current İstanbul Başakşehir players Mehmet Topal and Martin Škrtel.
• Škrtel also played at Liverpool with Sporting defender Coates from 2011 to 2013, while Mehmet Topal was a team-mate at Valencia in 2011/12 of Sporting's French defender Jérémy Mathieu.
• İstanbul Başakşehir's Brazilian right-back Júnior Caicara had a two-season loan spell with Portuguese outfit Gil Vicente in 2010/11 and 2011/12, winning the second division title in his first season and reaching the Portuguese League Cup final in his second. He won two of his three games against Sporting, losing the other, and was sent off in a League Cup encounter.
• Defender Carlos Ponck spent six seasons in Portugal, playing for Quarteirense, Farense, Paços de Ferreira, Benfica B, Chaves and Aves, before joining İstanbul Başakşehir in 2019. He faced Sporting eight times (W2 D1 L5) and scored the only goal as Chaves eliminated the Lisbon side from the 2016/17 Portuguese Cup quarter-finals.
• Ponck and Sporting's Jovane Cabral both made their international debuts for Cape Verde in a 2-0 friendly win against Luxembourg on 28 March 2017.
• Sporting are competing in the UEFA Europa League knockout phase for the eighth time, a competition record they share with Ajax.
• Sporting became the fifth team to register 100 goals in the UEFA Europa League, group stage to final, when Coates opened the scoring in their 2-0 win at Rosenborg on Matchday 4.
• İstanbul Başakşehirspor have yet to feature in a UEFA penalty shoot-out.
• Sporting's record in two UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W0 L2:
3-5 v Dinamo Minsk, 1984/85 UEFA Cup second round
3-4 v Napoli, 1989/90 UEFA Cup first round
• A former midfielder who spent most of his playing career at Galatasaray, with whom he won seven Turkish league titles plus the UEFA Cup/UEFA Super Cup double in 2000, Okan Buruk also helped Turkey to third place at the 2002 FIFA World Cup. İstanbul Başakşehir became his seventh club in as many seasons as a coach when he succeeded Beşiktaş-bound Abdullah Avcı in the summer of 2019. His profile had risen considerably a year earlier when he led unheralded Akhisar Belediyespor to Turkish Cup success with a 3-2 final victory against Fenerbahçe.
• The son of a former player, Emanuel Ferro opted instead for a career in coaching that began at the age of 24 and led to a job with Benfica's youth team. Between 2014 and 2015 he had a spell abroad as the assistant coach to Malaysia and the head of Espérance de Tunis's youth sector before returning to Portugal to work at Sporting CP as assistant to the Under-14, B and U23 teams. He was briefly head coach of the latter, replacing Leonel Pontes, and now works alongside Silas in the senior side's current regime.