Trabzonspor to play first ever home Champions League match

Tonight will see Turkish football team Trabzonspor play at home against French champions Lille in their UEFA Champions League Group B encounter, the first time Trabzonspor have ever hosted a team at home in the Champions League.

The historic match follows Trabzonspor’s successful debut in the competition a couple weeks ago where they toppled Italian giants Inter Milan 1-0 in the Guiseppe Meazza stadium to announce their debut in the competition in style.

Trabzonspor’s Huseyin Avni Aker Stadium will be lit up tonight for the match against Lille, Trabzonspor will be looking to build on the start they have made in the competition and give themselves a real hope of qualifying from the group to reach the knockout stages.

General Secretary Hasan Yener said: “This game is the most important one for us in the Champions League. We started off well by defeating Inter away. If we beat Lille as well, we will have a big advantage to be promoted to the next stage. Trabzonspor used to be the most successful Turkish team in Europe in the 1990s. We want to leave our mark in Europe again.”

Yener called on Trabzonspor fans to show their voice in the match and spur the team to victory, saying: “Just like the team won’t give up working hard on the pitch for 90 minutes, the fans shouldn’t give up either. We will need them throughout the match. Their impact will be huge on the team’s performance.”

Football in Turkey is currently at a crossroads amid allegations of match fixing, a scandal that has rocked Turkish football and saw original champions Fenerbahce kicked out of the Champions League and replaced with Trabzonspor. Should Trabzonspor qualify from Group B it would represent a real achievement for the Turkish team that arguably shouldn’t be there in the first place. Trabzonspor have grasped this opportunity by the horns and look to ride it as far as they can.

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