Preview: Copenhagen vs. Trabzonspor

Preview: Copenhagen vs. Trabzonspor

Copenhagen host Trabzonspor in the Champions League qualification playoff round, with the winner of the two-legged tie advancing to the group stage.

The visitors have not progressed beyond the qualifying rounds since the 2011-12 season, while Copenhagen last did so in the 2016-17 campaign.

Having won the Danish Superliga for the first time in three years, Copenhagen boss Jess Thorup will be determined to see his side reap their rewards by reaching the group stage of the Champions League.

The financial income which comes with reaching Europe’s elite competition proper is huge for a club of Copenhagen’s size, while helping them both retain and attract better and more ambitious players in the medium-term.

Having lost three of their first five league games this season, though, it would be fair to say Thorup’s side do not head into their crucial two-legged tie against the Turkish champions in the best form, with Friday’s 3-1 defeat at home to Randers a particular concern given their usual strength at Parken Stadium.

However, the 52-year-old will undoubtedly have his team fired up for a game of such significance, with an improvement in performance expected to follow.

Trabzonspor, meanwhile, crowned a remarkable season by winning the Turkish Super Lig for the first time in 38 years.

Abdullah Avci had twice guided Istanbul Basaksehir to a runners-up spot in a previous managerial role, but the 59-year-old went one better with Karadeniz Firtinasi, finishing eight points clear of second-placed Fenerbahce in the end.

Former Copenhagen striker Andreas Cornelius led the line magnificently during his debut season for the club, finally coming of age with 15 league goals across the course of the campaign.

The 29-year-old may hold mixed feelings about the prospect of coming up against his local team on Tuesday, but ultimately he will be expected to put professional pride ahead of any personal love and he could play a crucial part in terms of dictating the outcome of the tie.

Copenhagen form (all competitions):
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Trabzonspor form (all competitions):
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We say: Copenhagen 1-1 Trabzonspor
With both teams missing key players through injury, the quality in general play could be reduced, especially with so much at stake for these sides.

However, Trabzonspor have clearly begun the season in better form, and we expect them to avoid defeat and establish themselves as favourites to reach the group stage.

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