Istanbul Basaksehir vs Ludogorets Prediction, Preview, Lineups & Betting Tips
Istanbul Basaksehir vs Ludogorets Razgrad prediction for Thursday’s UEFA Europa League Group C fixture. We expect some goals when Turkish Istanbul Basaksehir takes on Bulgarian champion Ludogorets in opening round of the 2017-18 Europa League group phase. Read more in our detailed match preview, prediction and free betting tips.
Heado-to-head History: Istanbul Basaksehir vs Ludogorets
This will be the first ever clash between these two sides. Moreover, Istanbul Basaksehir have never met a Bulgarian opposition as the same goes for Ludogorets who have never played a Turkish side in a competitive encounter. That’s because both clubs have pretty modern history in European football and this makes them even more craving for international success.
UEFA Europa League: Istanbul Basaksehir vs Ludogorets 14.09.2017
Istanbul Basaksehir marks its first ever group stage breakthrough after becoming a surprising Süper Lig runner-up last year. As a result of last season’s performance and being a title contender nearly to the end, Istanbul Basaksehir have been awarded with a chance to attack the UEFA Champions League. After a successful two-legged tie vs Club Brugge (3:3, 2:0), the Turkish side had the unfortunate draw to meet Sevilla in the playoffs, although they had a chance to eliminate the Spaniards. Losing 1:2 in Istanbul and a 2:2 draw in Sevilla sent Abdullah Avci’s men to the Europa League groups, where the Istanbul club will meet two other teams coming from the Champions League qualifiers (Ludogorets, Hoffenheim), as well as Portuguese Braga.
Meanwhile, hosts are doing quite well in the Süper Lig where Istanbul Basaksehir have three wins in four rounds, including a massive 2:3 win at Fenerbahce’s ground last weekend. Thus the vice-champions are currently third, having 9 points which places them on a point behind both leaders Galatasaray and Besiktas.
Ludogorets also began its European journey from the Champions League qualifiers where “Eagles” from Razgrad had a short flight before losing to Hapoel Be’er Sheva. In fact Ludogorets won 3:1 at home turf but the away goal rule wasn’t in their favour as they have previously lost 2:0 in Israel. Thereafter Georgi Dermendzhiev has been dismissed from his coaching position (following a Bulgarian Super Cup defeat couple of days later) and replaced by Dimitar Dimitrov, who already led Irtysh Pavlodar (Kazakhstan) earlier in the Europa League qualifiers. “Hero” (Dimitrov’s nickname) didn’t had much time to reinforce the team the way he probably wants to, but Ludogorets signed Brazilian defender Rafael Forster, who arrives from Ukrainian Zorya Luhansk.
Hero’s first major game was in the Europa League playoffs where Ludogorets had an easy draw and knocked out Lithuanian Sūduva, not doing it the most convincing way though. After a 2:0 win in Razgrad, second leg in Lithuania ended without goals and has been followed by two more disappointing domestic league results.
First of all Ludogorets failed to win at home against Pirin Blageovgrad (1:1) right before the break for international football, while a few days later “Eagles” had to play their postponed match against Levski in Sofia. Normally a draw there would not be considered so negative, but fact that Ludogorets played with 11 men against 10 of Levski for more than 40 minutes, and couldn’t create a clear scoring chance in that period, is surely a disappointment.
Ludogorets have finally ended their winless form by winning 0:4 vs Slavia in Sofia on Saturday night, thus remaining on a point behind current First League leaders CSKA Sofia.
Match Preview: Team News, Squads and Missing Players
Istanbul Basaksehir have plenty of attacking talent within their squad, and former Feyenoord winger Eljero Elia has already scored three times during their qualification campaign. Other players who deserve to be highlighted as a serious threat for Ludogorets’ defense are Marcio Mossoro, Edin Visca, and of course – Emmanuel Adebayor. On top of that attacking quartet, coach Abdullah Avci has some decent replacements like Stefano Napoleoni, Mevlüt Erdinc, Irfan Can Kahveci, Kerim Frei, as the latter was the one who scored the late winner vs Fenerbahce on Saturday.
However, there were some bad news after the Istanbul derby and they’re related with defensive midfielder Mahmut Tekdemir who had fracture in his right wrist. He will most likely miss out opening Europa League game, but good news are that Marcio Mossoro, who missed the league game on Saturday, is ready to return in the lineup. Anyway, Takdemir should be replaced by Gökhan Inler who seems the favourite to start as a central midfield partner of veteran-captain Emre Belözoglu.
While the Turks are staying at home turf and waiting for their first home match in a major UEFA competition, “Eagles” from Razgrad had a laborious flight to Istanbul. Initially their flight from Varna to Istanbul had to be on Wednesday morning but has been delayed for a few hours due to technical issues.
The entire Ludogorets crew had to wait for more than five hours on the airport and one of them was playmaker Marcelinho, who travels with the squad even if he still serves a suspension. That’s a huge blow for the away side and Dimitar Dimitrov must look for an alternative of his best player. One of the possible options is switching to a 4-3-3 formation with three central midfielders and we won’t be surprised if Dimitrov does that. Otherwise he can choose between Gustavo Campanharo or Wanderson for an attacking midfielder, if he sticks within the 4-2-3-1 formation. This may open a space for someone among Jody Lukoki or João Paulo in the squad, while if Ludogorets plays a 4-3-3, then the summer signing Jacek Góralski and Lucas Sasha can start next to the first-choice central midfielders (captain Svetoslav Dyakov and Anicet). Sasha can also play as a right-back if Dimitrov names him instead of Cicinho.
Istanbul Basaksehir vs Ludogorets Prediction and Betting Tips
After selling Jonathan Cafu to Bordeaux, Ludogorets lost one of its attacking players and the club failed to find a new one. Another Brazilian João Paulo, who joined Ludogorets last winter, was the one expected to improve their attacking opportunities but so far he has been far from the anticipated contribution and we expect Dimitar Dimitrov to leave him on the bench once again. A good reason to believe that Ludogorets can start with an attacking trio – two wingers (Jody Lukoki and Wanderson) and Romanian goal scorer Claudiu Keserü on top of the formation. This eventually means more counter-attacking approach and that’s something which Ludogorets can do well. Nevertheless, their defensive line is not on the required level but it might be too soon for a starting debut of newest signing Rafael Forster.
Update: Virgil Misidjan was left out of the group traveling to Istanbul (he’s not suspended, neither injured).
Istanbul Basaksehir will be extremely motivated and eager to present themselves as any Turkish club playing in Europe. That is something exclusively common, especially in the home games, so there is no surprise why the Istanbul outfit is considered for a clear favourite. Not only because of all quality players in the roster, but for the home advantage and typical motivation we shall expect.
Final conclusion and Betting Predictions
We have two predictions and betting tips on the Europa League clash between Istanbul Basaksehir and Ludogorets. First one is related with the attacking abilities of both teams and it goes for “Both teams to score & Over 2.5 Goals“. We find it as a winning bet in 6 out of all 8 games played by Istanbul Basaksehir so far this season, including the last five.
Our second betting tip is backing the hosts but it’s also related with the scoring intention of these two sides. We recommend: “Istanbul Basaksehir to win and Both teams to score” which presents a fabulous value in our opinion.
Possible Lineups of Istanbul Basaksehir and Ludogorets
Venue: “Başakşehir Fatih Terim Stadyumu”, Istanbul.
Referee: Stefan Johannesson from Sweden.
İstanbul Başakşehir: Volkan Babacan – Gaël Clichy, Joseph Attamah, Alexandru Epureanu, Júnior Caiçara – Emre Belözoglu, Gökhan Inler – Eljero Elia, Marcio Mossoro, Edin Visca – Emmanuel Adebayor. (4-2-3-1)
Ludogorets Razgrad: Jorge Broun – Cicinho, Cosmin Moti, Igor Plastun, Natanael – Jacek Goralski, Svetoslav Dyakov, Anicet – Jody Lukoki, Claudiu Keseru, Wanderson. (4-3-3)