Our prediction for this Europa Conference League match:
Trabzonspor will look to kick off the Europa League knockout stages in style when they welcome Basel to their Medical Park Stadium on Thursday evening. Abdullah Avci’s troops were having their ups and downs in the Europa League Group H, but thanks to a hard-fought 1-0 win over Ferencvaros they booked their spot in the Conference League last 32. Keep in mind, though, that important players Marek Hamsik and Edin Visca are sidelined with injuries, as well as Bruno Peres, Dorukhan Tokoz, and Serkan Asan.
The Rossoblu, on the other hand, aim to build on a 3-1 win over Sion. Basel, though, are not enjoying a season to remember, with the team sitting in 6th place in the standings, and given their poor record in the Swiss Super League (2-3-5), we are tempted to put our money on the Turkish outfit this time out. There are no fresh injury worries in the away side.
Highlighted Player (Jean-Philippe Gbamin):
Gbamin had spells with lower league clubs US Saint-Quentin Blessy and Aire-sur-la-Lys, before he joined RC Lens in 2007. The Ivorian footballer was born in San Pedro, Ivory Coast, in 1995 and, like most of Ivorian players, he tested his luck in France. During his stay in the second team, Jean-Philippe Gbamin impressed the club officials, which resulted in him braking into the first team during the 2013/14 Ligue 2 campaign.
The 22-year-old moved to Mainz 05 in 2016 after making 91 appearances for RC Lens. The Ivorian international is capable of playing at the heart of defense and the base of midfield. During the first two seasons, Gbamin has featured in 55 league games. His good performances caught the eye of Arsenal officials, but the German side rejected a record deal from the Premier League giants in order to keep one of their best players in the club.
Meanwhile, Jean-Philippe Gbamin signed a new four-year contract with Mainz. He played for France at the youth level, but he decided to represent Ivory Coast on senior level.
Highlighted Team (Basel):
One of the most successful football clubs in Switzerland, FC Basel were founded in 1893. The RotBlau as they are referred to by the Swiss play their games at the St. Jacob Park in Basel in front of 37,500 people which is the maximum capacity of the venue.
The 19-time Swiss champions have endured difficult times in 1980s which ultimately led to relegation from the top flight in 1987. FC Basel returned to the top tier of Swiss football in 2000s to win their first league title in 22 years and go on to win it nine more times over 13 seasons since 2002. The golden times for FC Basel brought European inclusion in every season since 1999-2000 with a pinnacle being the semi-finals of the Europa League in 2012-13.
The RotBlau have so far played over 95 UEFA Champions League games, winning almost half of their European outings. The Swiss club has produced plenty of talented players who went on to become prominent footballers all across Europe with Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka being the most outstanding members of the latest generation.