Curtain raises in new Süper Lig season

Defending champions Trabzonspor will take on newcomer Istanbulspor in an away game on Aug. 5 in the opening game of the new Süper Lig season.

Trabzonspor won its first league title in almost 30 years in May and the Black Sea side's supporters were happy to see their team adding the Turkish Super Cup to its museum last week.

Abdullah Avcı, the club's coach, believes more success is on the way.

"To be in this city, to be with you, to see your energy makes me delighted," the former Turkish national team coach told supporters after his players comfortably beat Sivasspor 4-0 in the Super Cup final.

"We are winning, and we will continue winning. We need to ask for more to write a new story, and we started with this victory."

In addition to its fight to defend the league title, Trabzonspor eagerly wants to be in the Champions League group stage, both for the prestige and the financial advantages.

The obstacle between the group stage and the Turkish champion will be Copenhagen, which will host Trabzonspor for a third qualification round first leg match on Aug. 6, before the return game on Aug. 24.

"We will first play our league game, and then launch our Champions League campaign," Avcı said. "Winning those games are our short-term targets, and I know that we will achieve those."

Trabzonspor kept its squad intact in the transfer season, replacing just a couple of players, while its main opponents had major changes.

Fenerbahçe brought in Jorge Jesus of Portugal as its new coach in June, while Galatasaray preferred its former player Okan Buruk for the post.

Beşiktaş starts the season under Valerien Ismael, who was signed in March.

Fenerbahçe also saw a major overhaul of its squad, with nine players,...

Continue reading on: