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09 August 2018 Venue Basaksehir Fatih Terim Stadium Attendance

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UEFA Europa League Qualifying

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Taylor Relishing Turkey Leg Of Euro Challenge

Clarets defender hopes for another big night as European tour breaks new ground

9 August 2018

Charlie Taylor says the Clarets are relishing the prospect of their Turkey test.

Burnley have travelled abroad for a European tie for the first time since they faced Eintracht Frankfurt in the Inter-Cities Fairs quarter-finals in 1967.

The Clarets’ reward for knocking out Aberdeen at the last stage of the Europa League is also a first competitive fixture against Turkish opposition.

And Taylor is hoping Sean Dyche’s ground-breakers can back up their 4-2 aggregate win over the Dons with another positive first leg result against Istanbul Basaksehir tonight (kick-off 7pm BST) to keep alive hopes of an extended run in the competition.

“The win over Aberdeen was a great occasion for the club as a whole,” said Taylor, who came off the bench to provide the extra-time goal from Jack Cork at Turf Moor last Thursday night that finally broke the Scots’ resistance.

“The whole night was special and to have a win, get through to the next round and to have a trip into Europe is brilliant for the fans.

“We have waited so long to get into Europe, it was important to get through the first round.

“We managed to do that and roll on the next round. It will be a tough game in a tough environment, but we will relish it.

“The away goal was huge at Aberdeen and if we can get an away goal there it will give us a real strong chance coming back to Turf Moor and hopefully getting through to the round after that.”

Greek side Olympiakos or FC Lucerne of Switzerland await in the play-off round, with the winners of that tie going on to the Europa League’s group stages.

But first the Clarets have to try and negotiate their way past a Basaksehir side competing in the Europa League for a fourth successive year, having gone into the group stage last season after losing to Seville in the play-off round of the Champions League.

That followed a second-place finish in the Turkish Super League in 2016/17, when Basaksehir finished six points behind champions Besiktas but ahead of both traditional Istanbul heavyweights Fenerbahce and Galatasary.

Last season normal order was restored with Galatasary and Fenerbahce occupying the top two slots.

But only goal difference prevented Basaksehir from finishing second again and the club – originally founded in 1990 but re-located, re-branded and re-named Basaksehir in 2014 following their return to the top flight – appears to be a coming force in Turkish football.

Backed by major investment and playing in the modestly-sized but impressively modern Fatih Terim Stadium, the team, managed by former Turkey manager Abdullah Avci, has a squad littered with experience.

Thirty-seven-year-old former Newcastle United and Inter Milan midfielder Emre Belozoglu – who has also played for Galatasary and Fenerbahce and been capped 95 times by Turkey – captains a side which may also include the ex-Arsenal and Manchester City pair of defender Gael Clichy, 33, and striker Emmanuel Adebayor, 34.

Turkish international midfielder Arda Turan, 31, is on loan from Barcelona, while the home ranks also include former Fulham and Birmingham City winger Kerim Frei.

However, the tie comes just three days before the start of the Turkish domestic league campaign when Basaksehir are at home to Trabzonspor.

It therefore remains to be seen how Avci juggles his resources, with the hosts seemingly determined to make a major statement in their own league as they pursue Champions League football in the future.

The Clarets, of course, have their own busy schedule to balance with the start of the Premier League season just three days away and the return leg against Basaksehir coming quickly next Thursday.

Injuries have also stretched Dyche’s squad but the Burnley boss will do everything to try and keep pursuing a twin challenge as his players – who got their first taste of the stadium when they conducted a light training session at kick-off time on Wednesday night – gear up for another big night in Burnley history.

“We have not gone away from the fact – and we have been very honest and open – that the main challenge is the Premier League,” said Dyche.

“That’s what we want to continue in and we know we have to work hard in that.

“But as I have said, it is a fantastic badge of honour, or an accolade, whichever you want to use - the Europa League, so we are certainly taking that seriously.

“We know the side here has got some very experienced players, well-travelled players and some very good technical players.

“We have to be aware of that, but our mind-set never changes.

“We try and win every game that we play and that’s our mentality which has served us well.”

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Match Reports

Istanbul Basaksehir 0 Burnley 0

Clarets dig deep to bring Euro tie back to Turf Moor level

9 August 2018

A night of sweat and toil in a steamy Istanbul produced its just rewards for the Clarets as they reached the half-way point of their Europa League third qualifying round on level terms.

The two sides will meet again at Turf Moor next Thursday night when the second leg must produce a winner to, in all likelihood, face Olympiakos for the right to earn a place in the group stages of the competition.

The Greek side put one foot in the play-off round by beating Swiss outfit FC Lucerne 4-0.

But while there was a gulf between the two sides in Athens, there was nothing to separate Burnley and Basaksehir 350 miles away across the Aegean Sea.

The Clarets produced a masterly defensive display  - Phil Bardsley and Charlie Taylor both coming in and more than playing their part alongside the rock-solid duo of Ben Mee and James Tarkowski - which brought a clean sheet on his Clarets debut for the newly arrived Joe Hart.

And with every one to a man putting in a monumental shift in front of the England goalkeeper, the Clarets’ first European campaign in more than 50 years will still have legs in a week’s time when Sean Dyche’s men know even one goal may be enough to keep the run going.

With injuries stretching his squad and half an eye on Sunday’s Premier League opener, Dyche sent out an unfamiliar-looking line-up for the Clarets’ first competitive game in Turkey.

An instant debut for Hart also added to Burnley’s new look, with his inclusion - along with Bardsley and Jon Walters - providing welcome extra European experience to the visitors’ ranks.

Hart’s next to last game in Europe had been a Champions League semi-final with Manchester City in 2016, while Bardsley played Champions League football with cross-city rivals United and in the UEFA Cup during a loan spell at Rangers.

And the Europa League experience gained by Walters – starting only his second game for the Clarets – included a goal against Turkish opposition in the shape of Besiktas.

Basaksehir’s aim is to challenge Besiktas and the other big guns of Istanbul in their domestic league and having effectively been launched as a force in the city in 2014 this is already their fourth Europa League campaign.

Big-name recruits Emmanuel Adebayor and Artur Turan did not figure but there was a former Premier League presence in home ranks in the shape of ex-Manchester City full-back Gael Clichy and former Newcastle midfielder Emre Belozoglu.

And Emre was an influential figure in a first half in which, as expected, Basaksehir saw plenty of the ball.

Technically accomplished they dominated possession but, crucially, failed to find a way through as the Clarets – with new signing Ben Gibson watching from the bench – defended with great discipline.

And when the back line was punctured, Hart stepped up, beating away one angled drive from Junior Caicara and tipping over a header from Manuel da Costa.

Burnley attacks were more sporadic but they did produce a couple of half-chances before the break as they attacked the end where the travelling Clarets’ fans were housed.

From a Bardsley free-kick Mee, fresh from signing his new contract, flicked the ball on for sidekick James Tarkowski, who just failed to get a decisive touch inside the six-yard box.

And following a cross from Walters, Jack Cork headed the ball on for Johann Berg Gudmundsson to flash a volley just over the angle of post and bar.

Having kept themselves very much in the hunt, the Clarets started the second half positively, Jeff Hendrick nearly squeezing the ball past goalkeeper Mert Gunock from an unforgiving angle after another set-piece had unsettled the Basaksehir defence.

But the best chance of the game came with an hour gone with Basaksehir substitute Milos Jojicv given the opportunity to make an instant impression.

Edin Visca’s flick left the Serbia international in the clear but his low strike went the wrong side of the post to find the side netting as the hosts began to crank up the pressure.

Dyche sent on Sam Vokes, the scorer of the Clarets’ away goal in their win over Aberdeen in the previous round, to try and reverse the flow.

And while there was to be no repeat of his Pittodrie heroics, the Clarets made sure the door stayed firmly shut at the other end as they did enough to make the Turf Moor return another potentially special night.

Istanbul Basaksehir: Gunok, Junior, da Costa, Epureanu, Clichy, Tekdemir, Emre, Visca, Kahveci (Jojic 58), Elia (Frei 84), Bajic (Napoleoni 89). Substitutes: Babacan, Attamah, Ucar, Inler.

Booked: None

Burnley: Hart, Bardsley, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor, Walters, Cork, Westwood, Gudmundsson (Vokes 62), Hendrick, Barnes (Lennon 77). Substitutes: Legzdins, Lowton, Gibson, Ward, Long.

Booked: Barnes, Hart, Lennon.


Referee: Srdjan Jovanovic (Serbia)

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