Grasshopper vs Fenerbahce
2016/17 Europa League Play-Off
Date: Thursday, 25 August 2016,
Kick-Off: 18:00 UK
Venue: Stadion Letzigrund (Zurich).
Grasshopper have a huge 3-goal deficit to overturn in the second leg clash of the Europa League tie against the Turkish giants Fenerbahce.
Fener were holding on to a 4th minute goal from Aatif Chahechouhe until the introduction of Miroslav Stoch. The Slovakian forward struck two deadly blows in the 72nd minute and deep into the injury time to give the Turkish side an insatiable lead. Resuming the tie at 3-0 down is a massive task for the Austrian club and this will go down in the history books if they manage to cancel the difference.
Grasshopper started their qualification campaign in the second round of the Europa League qualifiers. They surpassed Icelandic side KR Reykjavik and Apollon Limassol from Cyprus in the previous rounds respective. And their wins were in a similar pattern with 2-1 wins at home and 3-3 draws in the away fixture. The Austrians haven’t qualified for Europa League group phase since their appearance in 2006/07 season.
Fenerbahce entered the Europa League qualifiers after losing to Monaco in the third round of Champions League qualifiers. The Turks held a 2-1 win from the first leg, but Monaco turned it around in style with a 3-1 win in front of their home fans. Fenerbahce reached the round of 16 of 2015/16 Europa League and were defeated by Portuguese side Sporting Braga.
Grasshopper vs Fenerbahce: Head-to-Head Stats
The first leg clash at Istanbul on 18th August 2016 was the first ever clash between Grasshopper and Fenerbahce.
Grasshoppers have lost in each of the three meetings with Turkish sides so far. Their previous meeting with a club from Turkey was with Fener’s arch rivals Galatasaray during the second qualifying round of 1998/99 Champions League.
Fenerbahce’s overall record against Austrian sides is 2 win, 2 draw and 1 defeat from 5 matches. They are also unbeaten in the two previous visits to Austria with a win and a draw.
Grasshopper vs Fenerbahce: Prediction
Fenerbahce dominated the first leg meeting and rightly carry a 3-0 lead. Also their defense proved too hard for the Austrians to break down. The hosts might show some attacking intent here as they will be chasing a huge deficit. But it is almost impossible to see them put four past a strong side like Fenerbahce, without conceding. We could witness a very open game and see over 2.5 goals at full-time.
The Turkish side have some quality players, but they haven’t won in the last five away fixtures. While Grasshopper are unbeaten at home in their last four competitive fixtures. The hosts have also scored 2 goals each in those four home wins.
So I would like to go against the odds here and back Grasshopper to squeeze a 2-1 win, which is priced at the odds 13.00.
Grasshopper vs Fenerbahce: Tips
- Both teams to score and Grasshopper to win at 6.50
- Over 2.5 Goals 1.75 (Recommended).
- Grasshopper to win at 3.75.