Vitesse vs Basel
Vitesse didn't have an easy opponent in the second qualifying round for Europa League as the side had to meet Romanian decent club Viitorul. The first game has ended as a 2:2 draw in Romania, despite the fact that their opponents had 2:0 lead at the start of the second halftime.
The Dutch team managed to re-group a bit and reduced via Matavz in the 54th minute but also improved further and found a way to equalize in 72nd minute via Linssen. They remained bit better and even played with a man more in last fifteen minutes, but the score didn't change.
- The games against Viitorul were a bit more difficult than what they've probably expected, as the Romanians also looked very decent in attack.
Second leg game in front of own fans was a bit easier for them as they took the lead in 23rd via Matavz in quite an open game. Linsen wrote 2:0 and even though the Romanians reduced in the next attack, the Dutch team managed to seal the victory thanks to a goal from Beerens.
Left fullback Lassana Faye is injured and didn't perform in previous two qualifying games either.
They had previous friendly matches draw against Arsenal Tula 2:2 and a victory against Lokomotiv Moscow 3:0. Not much of friendlies have been played since Vitesse took the early phase of the qualification as preparation matches as well.
- Basel was excluded from the second qualifying round of the Champions League from Greek side PAOK.
Basel didn't look that well early in the season and they already paid the biggest price. The team simply didn't look that fluid and were unable to make the chances count against a much more concrete side.
It was bit surprising to see PAOK being that more concrete since the Greek league is yet to start. Basel lost the first game away from home 2:1 and already sacked their coach after it, but it didn't help much since they got completely outplayed in front of own fans losing the game with a 0:3 result.
The Greeks had a positive result from the first leg already, being able to exploit their chances very well against the Swiss side that didn't know how to attack - but were very vulnerable at the back.
Basel didn't start well in the domestic league either. They had a 1:2 defeat at home against St Gallen, then a draw away to Xamax in between of Champions League games. However, finally, they did improve on Saturday evening when the side won over Grasshoppers with a 4:2 result at home. They did look better and improved, especially since they were playing with a man less in the last thirty minutes.
Goalkeeper Antonio Signori is injured, as well as defensive midfielders Taulant Xhaka and Zdravko Kuzmanovic. All three are long-term absentees. Offensive midfielder Valentin Stocker (4/0) is injured too.
In my eyes, an open game is written all over this one. Vitesse might approach this one bit more careful, however the way Basel plays guarantees goals. Their defensive lineup is far away from a perfect one, while they'll sure try to attack here. They could have improved a bit, but still are far away from perfect form. The first leg should bring better chances for Vitesse till Basel starts playing and settle into the season.
Vitesse vs Basel prediction
Over 2.5 goals @ 1.75 with Pinnacle