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New Turkish power hope to surprise Man United

A look at Istanbul Basaksehir F.K.

Table of Contents

New face

 One of the most unknown clubs in this season’s Champions League will be Turkey’s Istanbul Basaksehir F.K.

Founded in 1990 they won the Turkish Super Lig for the very first time last season.

Finishing ahead of teams like Galatasaray, Fenerbache and Besiktas is no easy feat.

Now the big question is can they achieve the kind of European success those Turkish clubs have had.

European history

 As you would expect for a club so new there isn’t a lot of European experience to speak of.

They’ve played six total games in the Champions League having won only once.

In the Europa League, they’ve played 24 matches and have won 8.

Their best-ever finish was last season when they lost to Copenhagen in the Round of 16.

Style of Play

 Under manager Okan Buruk since 2019, they’ve shown they can compete with the very best in Turkey.

Since Buruk’s appointment, they’ve been able to have tactical flexibility against a variety of styles.

Against less aggressive teams they like to play from the back at a slow pace while utilizing wide players to create attacks.

They seem to focus on attacking their opponent’s flanks while using the width of the pitch in the final third.

They have experience at the back and tend to play the long ball from the defense.

It will be interesting to see if that slow methodical approach can work against a United team that likes to push the pace.

Players to watch

 The biggest reason the club was able to win the domestic league title last season was the play of Edin Visca.

The Bosnian striker led the team with 13 goals last season while also adding 13 assists.

He’s made over 300 appearances for the team and was named to his nation’s squad at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Defender Junior Caicara was influential at full-back with darting overlapping runs to bolster the attack.

French striker Enzo Crivelli had 11 goals in league play to form a strong partnership with Visca.

 Important dates

 These teams will play one another for the first time ever in Istanbul on November 4.

Old Trafford will be the site of the return match on November 24. (JSL)

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