Preview and Prediction
This is the battle of two dark horses in Europa League. Istanbul Basaksehir, which has just won their first Turkish Super League title this season, is planning to continue their positive trend in Europe by progressing to the quarterfinal. This midweek, Martin Skrtel and Co will be taking on FC Copenhagen, the runner up of Danish league this season, on the road. The Turkish side needs to be careful as they only have one goal advantage from the first leg while Staale Solbakken’s men have the potential to turn things round at their home turf.
Both teams’ previous matches
Copenhagen managed to seal three points while hosting Nordsjaelland 2-1 in their last game of Danish Super League last month. Jonas Wind took the lead before Mikkel Rygaard equalised through his penalty. The home side’s victory was finally capitalised by Dame N’Doye’s goal just four minutes before the final whistle.
Okan Buruk’s men, on the other hand, lost in their last game of Turkish league in the away game versus Kasimpasa on the road. They were beaten 2-3 in the non-decisive game and were three goals behind first as Bangaly-Fode Koita scored a brace and Yusuf Erdogan extended the lead. Basaksehir could only close the gap by the goals of Demba Ba and Eden Visca.
The former Norwegian international, Staale Solbakken is often in favour of 4-4-2 formation. Michael Santos is the main frontman accompanied by Pieros Sotirou, while in the midfield, the Greek international Zeca is the anchorman with Rasmus Falk Jensen and Pierre Bengtsson play wide.
His counterpart, the former Inter Milan man, Okan Buruk tends to be more adaptable with 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 formation. The former Newcastle and Chelsea forward, Demba Ba is the main scorer with Edin Visca and Enzo Crivelli on both sides. In the midfield, Irfan Can, Mahmut Tekdemir and the veteran Mehmet Topal are the best option they have in the squad.
Players to watch
FC Copenhagen has been relying on a number of key figures this season. They are the goalie Karl Johnsson, the defenders Victor Nelsson and Guillermo Varela. Another notable name to watch is the Uruguayan striker Michael Santos.
Istanbul Basaksehir has more well-known names in the squad despite their age and degrading pace. There are the Senegalese international Demba Ba upfront who has bagged thirteen goals and provided four assists this season, the former Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel, the ex-Manchester City wing back, Gael Clichy and Bosnian international Edin Visca. Some other key men on the bench are Arda Turan, Robinho and Eljero Elia.
Copenhagen vs Istanbul Basaksehir Prediction
It is one of the tough games to predict which shall go through the next round. Yet, Okan Buruk could benefit from his senior players’ mentality and experience in the crucial match like this. A draw result seems the most reasonable result, which should be enough for the visitors to progress.
There is no clear favourite in this match. The home side is backed to win at 2.60. Meanwhile, the draw result is at 3.35 and Basaksehir’s win market is only at 2.75.