4th Of February, Daily Double Up
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Trabzonspor vs Denzilspor
After a slow start Trabzonspor are really beginning to hit form. They had a turbulent start to the season and sacked former Chelsea man Eddie Newton as head coach just 7 games in to the league season. They have since employed Abdullah Avci who is renowned in Turkey for being one of the best coaches around. Since his appointment in mid-November his side have played 15 games (W10, D3, L2) which is a truly outstanding return and seen Trabzonspor climb up to 5th in the standings, just 2 points off the top 4.
The transformation under Avci has been so impressive that they are now the form team in Turkey alongside Fenerbahce having accumulated 16 points across their last 6 games. They have won each of their last 4 going in to this afternoon’s game and won impressively away at Besiktas at the weekend in a truly superb display. This afternoon they host bottom of the league Denizlispor who have had a turbulent season and are now on to their 3rd manager of the campaign in Hakan Kutlu. They make the trip to Trabzon tonight without key defender Fabiano who misses out through suspension and I expect the outstanding forward talent that Trabz possess to cause their backline endless problems.
Since Avci took over they are now scoring consistently and have notched in each of their last 7 games scoring 13 in the process. They have added further quality to their attack this month with the January signings of Greek international Anastasios Bakasetas from Alanyaspor and Turkish international Yunus Malli from Wolfsburg. Bakasetas has already shown his quality in this division since his move to Turkey back in 2019 and has proven himself to be one of the outstanding playmakers in the division.. He has been included in the squad and will likely see at least some involvement in this one. That adds to an already impressive forward line which contains the likes of Caleb Ekuban, Benik Afobe and Anthony Nwakaeme
Denizlispor have lost 5 of their last 8 and rightfully sit bottom of the table having put in some shocking performances this season. They are particularly poor against the bigger sides in the league and have lost all three games against the current top 3 including a recent 6-1 hammering away at Galatasaray. Expect Trabz who are pretty much at full strength tonight to have more than enough to dispatch of Denizlispor this afternoon.
Braga vs Portimonense
There’s been a real breakaway at the top end of the Primeira Liga, with an 8 point gap from 6th to 7th the top end of the table are fighting a very different battle to those below. Braga are one of Portugal’s biggest sides and have aspirations to match. They currently sit 3rd, they’re 5 points behind Porto but 9 back from runaway leaders Sporting.
There’s a long way to go though and this very talented squad will be looking to get a 3rd consecutive win against a struggling Portimonense side. At home Braga have been particularly impressive, they’ve won 6/7 games at their famous Estadio Municpal stadium. Their solitary loss here came back on match day 2 against Santa Clara. That was back in September! Since then they’ve won 12/13, their only draw was the 3-3 thriller with Leicester in the Europa League.
The visitors have taken just 15 points from their 16 games so far this campaign. That means they’re just 3 points clear of bottom club Farense, who also have a game in hand. The bottom of the table is incredibly tight and one things for sure Portimonense definitely aren’t going to be able to rely on their away form. They’ve won just once in 8 games on the road and have scored just 6 goals. Only Farense and Tondela have taken fewer points than their measly 4.
To make things even worse for the visitors 3 of their starting back 5 are missing. Number 1 goalkeeper Samuel is out injured and defenders Willyan and Mauricio are both suspended. That makes a big task even tougher, it does have a feeling that they’re marching in to the jaws of death here.
With such differing records and form coming in to this game I can’t see Braga struggling here. Expecting a very professional performance.