Turkish Cup winners Trabzonspor are just a couple of matches away from a place in the group stages of the Europa League. They face Liverpool over two legs in the play-off round, with the first fixture at Anfield in England on Thursday.
Trabzonspor's players trained on the pitch at Anfield on Wednesday evening, ahead of their Europa League play-off round first leg against Liverpool on Thursday. A victory in the tie would put either side into the group stages of the Europa League.
Liverpool beat Trabzonspor 3-0 in their last meeting at Anfield, back in the 1976/77 European Cup, which Liverpool went on to win, beating Borussia Moenchengladbach 3-1 in the final in Rome - the first of their five European titles to date.
Liverpool Manager Roy Hodgson said,"Oh, absolutely. You treat every team you play in this competition with the utmost respect, particularly a Turkish team like Trabzonspor. They've got a very good record in Europe, they've played there on a regular basis, year on year. They're in a strong league, we've seen very often what Fenerbahce and Galatasaray can do. Trabzonspor are right up there with those two, in fact they beat Fenerbahce in the final to reach this competition. So, we know we're playing against a team at the very highest level."
Juventus prepare for Europa League
And twice European champions Juventus were in Austria on Wednesday. They are preparing to meet Sturm Graz in a two-legged Europa League play-off match. Juventus begin their quest to win another Seria A title when the season starts on Sunday 29 August with an away game at Bari.