Ludogorets vs Istanbul Basaksehir Prediction, Preview & Betting Tips
Ludogorets vs Istanbul Basaksehir prediction before the UEFA Europa League clash at the “Ludogorets Arena” in Razgrad. Bulgarian champion hosts its third home match in this year’s Europa League group stage when on Thursday night, 23 November 2017, Ludogorets will take on Turkish vice-champion Istanbul Basaksehir. Read on what our analysts have to say in a comprehensive match preview, prediction and more UEFA Europa League betting tips.
H2H History: Ludogorets Razgrad vs Istanbul Basaksehir
Ludogorets Razgrad and Istanbul Basaksehir have already met on matchday one when their encounter at the “Başakşehir Fatih Terim Stadyumu” ended in a goalless draw. Both sides had their scoring chances but were somehow pleased with that score line, especially visitors from Bulgaria who were considered to be a serious underdog in this tie.
UEFA Europa League: Ludogorets vs Istanbul Basaksehir 23.11.2017
Ludogorets sits on top of the domestic First League as well as in Group C of the 2017-18 UEFA Europa League. Dimitar Dimitrov’s men have won 8 points in four Europa League rounds and remain above the other main round of 32 pretenders, being on one point over second-placed Braga and with four over third-placed Hoffenheim, whilst Istanbul Basaksehir have won two points only. This means that a draw here can be an acceptable result for Ludogorets, especially if Hoffenheim fails to win in Braga.
“The Eagles from Razgrad” were back on track after winning 0:3 vs Lokomotiv in Plovdiv on Saturday night. Thus Ludogorets restored part of their lead over runner ups, as they have won and CSKA Sofia dropped two points against Botev Plovdiv at the same round. This was a proper result after their first ever league defeat to CSKA Sofia, right before the international break. Moreover, that home loss also was the first defeat for Dimitar Dimitrov since his appointment at the Ludogorets helm in August.
Visitors from Turkey are heading to neighbouring Bulgaria with a minor chance to qualify for the next round. First of all, Istanbul Basaksehir must chase a mandatory victory in Razgrad but they must also hope Braga will slip up against Hoffenheim at home.
Meanwhile, Abdullah Avci’s men are doing extremely well in the Süper Lig where they have accomplished a massive 5:1 success in a derby on top vs Galatasaray last Saturday. Emmanuel Adebayor scored a hat-trick in that game and thanks to two other goals by Joseph Attamah and Kerim Frei, Istanbul Basaksehir leveled Galatasaray on the Turkish Süper Lig peak.
Match Preview: Team News, Squads and Missing Players
The aforementioned remarkable result over city rivals Galatasaray was actually the third consecutive league win of Istanbul Basaksehir and fifth one in the last six rounds. However, Istanbul Basaksehir fails to carry over these efforts in the Europa League and they may have one last chance on Thursday.
Abdullah Avci likes to rotate the squad and it seems that the Süper Lig is his main priority, although club’s chairman Göksel Gümüşdağ has stated the game in Razgrad is not less important compared with last weekend’s match. In fact, Turkish teams don’t give up that easily on the international stage and we sincerely believe Istanbul Basaksehir will be keen on getting the full set of points, even if Avci makes some changes in the starting lineup. He must refresh the squad anyway, it is not a secret that big part of the experienced names are aged over 30 and club’s overall age is: 30,1.
Former Ludogorets player Junior Caicara has missed the weekend Süper Lig round due to suspension and is likely to start in Razgrad. Another defender – Manuel da Costa returned in the group on Saturday, but we are not sure whether he is ready to start.
Goalkeeper Mert Günok may get more first-team football by replacing Volkan Babacan, while captain Emre Belözoglu and Mahmut Takdemir, who have both missed the match vs Galatasaray, are still questionable. So Abdullah Avci may decide to stick within same central midfield duo between Gökhan Inler and Irfan Can Kahveci.
Kerim Frei, Stefano Napoleoni and Mevlüt Erdinc are some attacking options who can be promoted to the first-team against Ludogorets, replacing Eljero Elia, Marcio Mossoro, and Emmanuel Adebayor, respectively. Adebayor and another former Premier League star Gaël Clichy did not traveled to Bulgaria due to pain felt after the last match, so Istanbul Basaksehir’s medical staff decided to leave them in Turkey as a prevention.
Aurélien Chedjou, Egemen Korkmaz, Tunay Torun and Mehmet Batdal are all recovering from injuries and will miss out.
Ludogorets looks determined to reach the UEFA Europa League knockout phase for a second successive year, although last campaign they’ve made it after finishing third in their Champions League group.
In the official pre-match press conference Dimitar Dimitrov stated that even a draw would be a suitable result for Ludogorets, but his team will play offensive football and put its best effort to win. Indeed, a victory will secure Ludogorets a position in the next phase, no matter what happens in Portugal.
Cosmin Moti and Virgil Misidjan have both missed the last domestic league round but everyone in the Razgrad outfit believe they should be ready to feature against Istanbul Basaksehir. Moti should take his position as a centre-back partner of Igor Plastun, while Virgil Misidjan, who missed the first leg in Istanbul, will lead the attack. Misidjan playing the “false nine” role can be a dangerous challenge for the Turkish defensive line as his presence in Ludogorets’ attack increases the overall pace.
Vladislav Stoyanov is the only player who will 100% miss out with an injury, but Dimitrov has two decent goalkeepers in constant competition and he usually rotates either Jorge Braun or Renan.
Ludogorets vs Istanbul Basaksehir Prediction and Betting Tips
Ludogorets missed to record its third group stage victory when Braga scored a late equalizer on matchday four. Three weeks later “Eagles from Razgrad” will stay at their real home, where they remain unbeaten after seven European games. Of course, we must mention that Ludogorets have played most of their European matches in Sofia and they can host major games in Razgrad since the beginning of current season.
Ludogorets are favourites but we don’t believe that the Turkish side should be underestimated here, neither those players who don’t get enough first-team football and can use that game to prove their ability. We look at the odds on “Both teams to score: Yes” and recommend the goal scoring market as our betting prediction ahead of a clash facing Ludogorets with Istanbul Basaksehir.
Possible Lineups of Ludogorets Razgrad and Istanbul Basaksehir
Venue: “Ludogorets Arena”, Razgrad.
Referee: Miroslav Zelinka from the Czech Republic.
Ludogorets Razgrad: Jorge Broun – Cicinho, Igor Plastun, Cosmin Moti, Natanael – Anicet, Jacek Goralski – Jody Lukoki, Marcelinho, Wanderson – Virgil Misidjan. (4-2-3-1)
Istanbul Basaksehir: Mert Günok – Alparslan Erdem, Alexandru Epureanu, Joseph Attamah, Junior Caicara – Gökhan Inler, Irfan Can Kahveci – Kerim Frei, Marcio Mossoro, Edin Visca – Mevlut Erdinc. (4-2-3-1)