Besiktas vs Sarpsborg
UEFA Europa League
Date: Thursday, 20 September 2018
Kick-Off at 17:55 UK / 18:55 CET
Venue: Vodafone Stadyumu (Istanbul).
Besiktas are back to Europa League after a strong 2016/17 run when they were narrowly eliminated by French Olympique Lyon in the quarter-final. The Black Eagles went on to top their respective Champions League group in some style last season, but were unlucky to draw the strongest of the second-place finishers Bayern Munich in the last 16 round.
Things have, however, nit give very well for the Senol Gunes squad in the domestic league last year when Besiktas missed out on the Champions League spots. Can they make a positive start to the Europa League group stage with a victory over debutants Sarpsborg on Thursday evening at Vodafone Stadyumu?
The visitors, who have been around for only a decade, enjoyed their maiden qualification to the group stage of any European competition. They went past St. Gallen, Rijeka and Maccabi Tel Aviv for such an accomplishment. The group stage will, however, represent a much bigger test for them. Are they up for it?
Besiktas vs Sarpsborg: Head-to-head
This will be the first ever head to head affair between these two likes.
Besiktas vs Sarpsborg: Prediction
The European success left a big mark on Sarpsborg’s domestic quest. Geir Bakke’s men lost four on the bounce in the top flight of Norwegian football and they’ll come into this as heavy underdogs following such a dismal spell of form.
The visitors fell down to seventh place in the Eliteserien standings as a result. They haven’t been quite meticulous at the back in the process, shopping two or more goals in all of past four matches across competitions. They allowed at least a goal in each of last six outings.
It will be the music to the ears of Alvaro Negredo & company who will be looking to back up the fine attacking form and bag two or more goals for the fifth time in six games here. Gunes’ squad returned on the winning ways in Super Lig thanks to a 2-1 victory over Yeni Malatyaspor on Saturday afternoon.
Besiktas vs Sarpsborg: Bet Tips
• HT/FT Besiktas/Besiktas @ 1.72 (8/11)
• Besiktas -1.5 handicap @ 1.75 (3/4).