United’s third Europa League Group A opponents are Turkish side FK Fenerbache from Istanbul. United have meet Fenerbache before when they have been group stage opponents in the Champions League in 1996-97 and 2004-05 seasons. Fenerbache are one of Turkey’s big three along with Galatasaray and Besiktas. They have won the Turkish Super Lig 19 times and the domestic Cup six times. Last year they finished as runners-up in both competitions to local rivals Galatasaray.
Fenerbache are currently managed by former PSV, Rangers and Sunderland coach Dick Advocaat and of course have our old friend Robin van Persie in their ranks. The game may have also seen a reunion with Nani as well but he moved on to Valencia in the summer after a single season with the club.
Fenerbache currently sit at the top of Group A on four points one ahead of ourselves and Feyenoord. In their last game they played a 4-3-3 shape and beat Feyenoord 1-0 in Instanbul.
Fenerbache starting formation against Feyenoord and manager Dick Advocaat
Van Perie only featured as a substitute in the 77th minute. Ozan Tufan is the young star of their side with former Liverpool central defender Martin Skrtel anchoring their defence alongside Simon Kjaer. Fenerbache currently sit 9th in the Turkish Super Lig after 6 games have won 2, drawn 2 and lost 2.
Advocaat has usually played a 4-3-3 system throughout his career as a manager although a pragmatist he has utilised 4-5-1 and 4-4-2 at times. They have played a 4-3-3 in both their Europa League games so far. His teams are usually fairly rigidly structured and have been accused in the past as being fairly cautious. Expect a tight game and a conservative approach from the Turkish side at Old Trafford.