Basaksehir vs Ludogorets
Basaksehir didn't manage to reach the group stage of Champions League earlier this season but truth to be told they had a very difficult draw as the team had to play against Sevilla, side that is very experienced in Europe and moreover, there's no doubt that the Spaniards have more of individual quality in any way. However, the Turks give them hard time, as Sevilla only progressed with a 4:3 aggregate victory, while the players of Basaksehir had to get satisfied with playing in Europa League group stage.
They are drawn together with Ludogorets, Hoffenheim and Braga and surely can't afford to drop points against Bulgarian side that might be looked here as the weakest link now. As for the domestic league, the team had a setback in second round against Kardemir Karabukspor away from home, but that match came between two clashes against Sevilla, while they have three other victories. Most recently, they took a precious victory on the road against Fenerbahce showing that the side is in a perfect form and momentum with a 3:2 result. Their victory was fully deserved, even though it came only in third minute of additional time as the guests created way more chances, but also showed gaps in the defense. They are now just a point behind leading duo from Galatasaray and Besiktas, but surely aiming to impress in Europe as well.
Defender Aurelien Chedjou is sidelined from the start of the season and didn't play so far anyway.
Ludogorets has started the new season way earlier than their tonight's opponent as the side started in Champions League qualifiers and it was obvious from the first match that the things aren't working in the perfect way in their club. Still, they managed to progress over Lithuanian champions form Zalgiris despite losing the first match 2:1, as they recorded 4:1 victory in second clash in front of own fans.
However, playing against Israeli side Hapoel Beer Sheva was too much at that moment, as they suffered 2:0 defeat on the road and even though have won 3:1 at home and have shown to be maybe a bit more quality side, they didn't manage to reach the progress further. Playing against Lithuanian side Suduva in play-off stage of Europa League was way easier task as the side won 2:0 on aggregate score with the same victory in front of own fans in first round. As for the domestic league, they don't have many real opponents for the title battle, but are for now at second position with 5-3-0 record and a point less than CSKA Sofia, surely paying the price of busier schedule at start of the season.
Guests will be missing offenisve midfielder Marcelinho (5/1) who is still suspended, while injured are goalkeeper Vladislav Stoyanov who is a long term absentee without performing in the new season, plus defender Rafael Forster (newcomer, 0/0) and forward Juninho Quixada (6/3).
Basaksehir is having plenty of quality for this level, especially for such opponent. Ludogorets isn't a naive side, but they showed plenty of weaknesses in their matches away from home, however now are facing up against even more quality opponent. Hosts alone have the quality to score three times and these odds are more than valuable to me.