Basaksehir vs RFS
On paper, this should be a comfortable victory for the home side.
Basaksehir are 5th in the Turkish Super Lig with three wins in their last five league matches.
Tonight’s opponents Rigas are 3rd in the Latvian Premier League, also with wins from their last five league matches.
Basaksehir are top of Europa Conference League Group A on seven points from their opening three matches after a 4-0 win away at Hearts, 3-0 win at home to Fiorentina then a disappointing 0-0 draw last week away to Rigas.
Rigas sit bottom of the group with two points from their opening three matches. They’ve managed two goalless draws against Fiorentina and Basaksehir but were beaten 2-0 at home by Hearts.
You don’t need me to tell you how big a gulf there is between Basaksehir and Rigas. A good way to put a number on it might be their squad values on Transfermarkt. Istanbul squad value is £50.13m, Rigas is 84% lower at £7.3m.
Rigas did manage a point last week but that was at home and if you look at the stats, Istanbul had 14 shots to four, six corners to one and an incredible 79% possession. Rigas were down to 10 men for the final 20 minutes.
Basaksehir are very strong at home. They’ve won three, drawn one and lost one at home in the league this season, last season they had the 3rd best home record in the Super Lig, winning 63% of their home matches.
Rigas will be without Tomas Simkovic after his red card last week, there are no fresh injury concerns for Istanbul.
Rigas will not be as lucky this week. The difference here is they need to attack if they want any chance of progressing out of this group.
Basaksehir are the only side yet to concede a goal in the Conference League and with potentially a very open match, they should have more than enough quality to get all three points.
PSV vs Zurich
PSV host Zurich in the Europa League after thrashing them 5-1 away from home last week and I fancy them to do something similar this time around on home turf.
PSV are no joke at the Phillips Stadion. They’ve lost just two of their last 18 competitive matches at home. Those defeats came against Leicester City and Rangers in European competition, much stronger opposition than they’re up against here.
Domestically, their home form is even more frightening, and that level is more in-line with an opponent like Zurich from Switzerland. PSV have won 16 of their last 18 home matches in the Eredivisie, including their last 10 in a row. They scored 36 goals across those last 10 at the Phillips Stadion, an average of 3.60 per game.
PSV suffered a shock 3-0 defeat a Cambuur earlier in the month but they’ve bounced back well with the 5-1 win in Zurich and then the 1-0 win at Heerenveen over the weekend. In Zurich, PSV weren’t huge favourites, but they managed to score five goals from eight shots on target. It’s probably worrying what they could achieve at home.
The man of the hour Cody Gakpo is one who can give us a helping hand this evening, he’s a ridiculously talented young players and he’s a transfer target for many clubs. He scored the winner against Heereveen (As well as a brace in Zurich) and he’s now scored 13 times and picked up 10 assists in 16 appearances across all comps.
FC Zurich are sat rock-bottom of the Swiss Super League and they’re still waiting for their first league win of the season having already played ten times. They’ve draw four and lost six, things are looking bleak for them right now.
It also doesn’t make for good reading that they’re also sat bottom of their Europa League after losing each of the three matches they’ve played. They’ve conceded nine goals already in the group stages which gives them the worst defence in the competition currently.
Zurich don’t travel too well in Europe, they’ve won just three of their last 14 away trips in the Europa League. Another reason for them being up against it ahead of their trip to Eindhoven is because they’ve got a number of injury concerns with around five from the first team missing out.