Our prediction for this Europa League match:
Following a comeback in the tie against Sporting CP, Istanbul Basaksehir will be looking to move one step closer to advancing to the Europa League quarter-finals with a win over Copenhagen. The Turkish outfit rolled over the Portuguese Lions 4-1 in Istanbul, and it is no wonder they are seen as favourites to win Thursday’s football match. A man to keep an eye on in the home team will be Bosnia international Edin Visca, who is likely to prove a handful for the opposition back-line.
Copenhagen, on the other hand, did well to beat the odds and eliminate Celtic in the Europa League last 32, but defeating Basaksehir in Istanbul is easier said than done. Over the years Okan Buruk’s troops have turned their home ground into a real fortress, which is probably the main reason why we predict that the Danes will return to Copenhagen empty-handed.
Highlighted Player (Martin Skrtel):
Martin Skrtel is without a doubt one of Slovakia’s most famous footballers and with over 80 appearances for the national team, he is also one of their most capped players. Following a bright start to his career at Trencin, the powerful defender secured a move to Zenit, where he would go on to spend next three and a half years.
But, it was the £6.5 million transfer to Liverpool in January 2008 that put him on the map and ensured he would be remembered by football fans everywhere. Known for his uncompromising style of play that often got him into trouble, Skrtel enjoyed some success at Anfield, and even though major titles eluded him and his teammates, the centre-back scored in the 2011/2012 League Cup final to help the Reds lift the coveted trophy.
The Slovakian defender has so far made over 240 Premier League appearances for one of England’s most famous clubs and he has also been a real rock at the back for the Slovakian national team. Skrtel has missed very few competitive matches for his country after making his debut back in 2004, and he started four fixtures at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Highlighted Team (Copenhagen):
The most successful club in the history of Danish football FC Kopenhagen was founded in 1992, through the merger of 15-time Danish champions Kjobenhavns Boldklub and seven-time champions of Denmark Boldklubben 1903. Football Club Copenhagen play their matches at the Telia Parken, a venue that can host 38,000 spectators.
The Team of the City as Copenhagen is called in Denmark has won the Danish football championship eleven times, while it has also won the Danish Cup on seven occasions. The club forms great rivalry with Copenhagen’s suburban club Brondby IF with games between the two club attracting some of the biggest crowds in Danish football history in this so called New Firm derby.
Through its history F.C. Copenhagen have participated in the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, UEFA Europa League and UEFA Champions League, while their major European accomplishments have been achieved in the Royal League, with the Danish powerhouse winning two titles and coming as runners-up on one occasion.