On the back of a three-game winning streak in the domestic Super Lig, Istanbul Basaksehir will take on Manchester United at Basaksehir Fatih Terim Stadium in the third round of the UEFA Champions League group stage on Wednesday, 4 November 2020.
Istanbul Basaksehir Betting Preview
After a slow start to the new domestic campaign, with Istanbul Basaksehir losing their opening three games and failing to score in four (winning just one point in four games over the period), Okan Buruk’s men are reigniting their winning form and are set to host Manchester United on the back of a 2-1 win at Konyaspor over the weekend (their third consecutive win in the Super Lig).
Istanbul Basaksehir have won the Turkish Süper Lig championship for the first time in their history to become only the sixth club to claim the domestic title since the Süper Lig foundation in 1959. Thus they’ve ended the pure hegemony of The Big Three in Turkish football – Galatasaray, Fenerbahce and Besiktas – to become the first side out of their Istanbul rivals to win the title.
The Champions of Turkey play in Europe for a sixth year in a row yet that’s their first Champions League group stage appearance. Istanbul Basaksehir have kicked-off Group H with back-to-back defeats, losing 2-0 to both RB Leipzig and Paris Saint-Germain.
Okan Buruk’s side first travelled to Leipzig where they lost 2-0 at the Red Bull Arena before suffering another setback in their first home match – a 2-0 defeat to Thomas Tuchel’s PSG last Wednesday, courtesy of two second-half goals by Moise Kean.
French-born Senegalese Demba Ba and Bosnian winger Edin Visca were Istanbul Basaksehir’s top goal scorers and among the standout performers over the course of the triumphant 2019-20 campaign, both scoring 13 goals in the League. The pair should represent the biggest threat to United’s defense here, though Ba is yet to score in a competitive match this season.
Once winning the Premier League Player of the Month (in December 2011) award, Demba Ba can boast three goals in eight appearances against Manchester United during his memorable spell in England – two of them when he was at Newcastle and one for Chelsea. Many would probably remember Demba Ba’s volley for Chelsea against United in the replay of the FA Cup sixth round in 2013 as well as his wonderful strike for Newcastle’s 3-0 home win on 4 January 2012.
Right-back Júnior Caiçara is sidelined as the Brazilian suffered one of the worst possible injuries (Achilles tendon rupture) and will likely be ruled out for the remainder of the season.
Experienced Turkey international Hasan Ali Kaldirim, Nigerian midfielder Azubuike Okechukwu as well as experienced Belgium winger and former Premier League star Nacer Chadli are also injured for the home side, while centre-forward Enzo Crivelli was substituted early in the 2-1 victory at Konyaspor on Sunday and is a doubt here.
Okan Buruk could also rely on some other former Premier League ballers including full-back Rafael, who once thrived under sir Alex Ferguson’s guidance and now has a great chance to face his former club considering the magnitude of Junior Caicara’s injury, as well as former Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel.
Alexandru Epureanu and Martin Skrtel himself were paired at centre-back in both Champions League games so far, whereas Ponck partnered Skrtel over the weekend, so it’s yet to be seen whether Buruk would opt for the same duo (Epureanu-Skrtel) that played against PSG last Wednesday, or Ponck will get a chance to impress.
Manchester United Betting Preview
In stark contrast with their impeccable form in the Champions League, The Red Devils’s direction under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer remains quite uncertain as they had to endure another disappointing performance at Old Trafford over the weekend when they suffered a 1-0 loss to Arsenal on Sunday – their first home defeat to The Gunners since 2006.
As a result of their inconsistent domestic form, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are down to 15th in the Premier League table, picking up just seven points in six games, though they still have a game in hand.
Furthermore, United’s latest defeat means they have “successfully” equalled their worst start for seven years (since sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement) – a campaign that saw David Moyes losing his job and the Red Devils eventually finishing seventh – their worst top-flight record since 1989-90.
All in all, United have been in formidable form when they play away from home since the 2-0 defeat to arch rivals Liverpool at Anfield in January, only losing to Sevilla (on a neutral ground) in the UEFA Europa League semi-finals in August, in that time. They have scored a whopping 15 goals in their five games on the road (across all competitions) since the start of the new season in September – winning all of them.
And with an upcoming game at Goodison Park on Saturday, where Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton side will be fired up to return to winning ways when they take on United, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will most likely intend to shuffle his pack once more for the midweek trip to Turkey.
With the hectic schedule becoming even more loaded, Axel Tuanzebe could be given a start at centre-back, with either Victor Lindelof or captain Harry Maguire likely to be rested ahead of the weekend.
Alex Telles is quarantined due to a positive coronavirus test meaning that Luke Shaw will likely continue at left-back, unless Ole Gunnar Solskjaer doesn’t plan to rest the England international and opst for domestic youngster Brandon Williams instead.
Nemanja Matic, Donny van de Beek, Juan Mata and Anthony Martial are all pushing for starts here. The Frenchman (Martial) served a suspension over the weekend and should start in Istanbul and will likely feature alongside Marcus Rashford, who already has four goals in just two Champions League appearances, scoring a hat-trick coming off the bench to hand his side a comfortable victory as they eased past RB Leipzig last Wednesday.
Edinson Cavani still waits to complete his full Manchester United debut and could be given more minutes against Istanbul Basaksehir, though we doubt that Solskjaer would field the experienced Uruguay forward from the outset.
Meanwhile, the likes of Sergio Romero, Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones, Eric Bailly and Jesse Lingard are unavailable for selection due to different injuries – each of them is either ineligible for Champions League action or injured.
Possible Starting Lineups of Istanbul Basaksehir and Manchester United
Istanbul Basaksehir: Mert Günok – Rafael, Martin Skrtel, Alexandru Epureanu Boli Bolingoli – Irfan Can Kahveci, Berkay Özcan – Edin Visca, Danijel Aleksic, Deniz Türüc – Demba Ba. (4-2-3-1)
Manchester United: David de Gea – Brandon Williams, Harry Maguire, Axel Tuanzebe, Aaron Wan-Bissaka – Nemanja Matic, Scott McTominay, Donny van de Beek – Juan Mata – Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford. (4-3-1-2)
Spooky Express Betting Prediction
When it comes to their European campaign, United managed to snatch a 100 percent win ratio after their opening two games – against two of last season’s semi-finalists. They kicked-off with a 2-1 victory at Paris Saint-Germain, while the five-star (5-0) triumph over Julian Nagelsmann’s RB Leipzig last week was truly remarkable and they’ll hope to build on their momentum.
However, while it seems that United can feel safe for their spot in the Champions League knockout stage (based on their results) and are -180 favorites to Win Group H, there’s no room for slowing down now and they will surely try to finish their European job as quickly as possibly – two wins over the Istanbul outfit will likely be enough to seal them a round of 16 spot.
United are -263 favorites with BetOnline to extend their Champions League winning streak on Wednesday, while you can get betting odds of +620 on Istanbul Basaksehir to win their first match in the Champions League group stage. Meanwhile, a draw can be backed +390 with BetOnline.
All in all, the Turkish side have failed to score in each of their last four Champions League matches (including qualifying) – since a 2-2 draw at Sevilla in August 2017 – and have won only one of their 8 Champions League (1-2-5) games so far.
With that said, we expect the hosts will finally break the deadlock and goals should be on the menu as United’s attack will surely react after the dull performance over the weekend.
Spooky Express Parlay
Both teams to score – Yes
Total goals Over 2.5 +127 @ BetOnline for 5/10 Units