Our prediction for this Europa League match:
Despite the fact that Besiktas coach Senol Gunes could not count on several first-team regulars for the Europa League play-off clash against Partizan, the Turks did remarkably well to share the spoils with the Serbian side in Belgrade. The two teams played out a 1-1 draw at Stadion Partizana and, as a result, Besiktas are on the verge of booking their place in the Europa League group stages. Over the years the Turkish side have turned their Vodafone Stadyumu into a real fortress and we predict that they are going to give fans yet another reason for celebration on Thursday evening. Partizan have no other choice but to adopt an attack-minded approach in the return leg, meaning that the hosts should have a number of opportunities to score on the break. In their last meeting in Istanbul Besiktas recorded a 2-1 win over Partizan.
Highlighted Player (Pepe):
Pepe is a professional footballer who plays for Real Madrid as a defender. The Portuguese international played for Maritimo at the start of his senior career and in 2004 he moved to Porto. After making 64 league appearances for the Dragons, he signed a contract with Real Madrid in 2007 and he quickly established himself as a first-team regular. Pepe is well known for his hard tackles and referees often show him red card. The Real Madrid centre back often played as a defensive midfielder under Jose Mourinho and it has to be noted that he scored five goals in all competitions in the 2013/2014 La Liga campaign. The Portuguese footballer won his second Champions League trophy with Real Madrid in the 2015/2016 season and later in 2016 he helped A Selecao win the European Championship trophy. Portugal defeated France in the title game and Pepe played an important role in Fernando Santos’ team in the Euro 2016 final. The Real Madrid defender was born in Maceio, Brazil on 26 February, 1983.
Highlighted Team (Partizan):
Partizan are a Serbian football club founded by Yugoslav People’s Army on October 4, 1945. The Crno-beli (Black and Whites) play their home games at Partizan Stadium and the capacity of the venue is 32.710. During the 20th century Partizan were in the shadow of their bitterest rivals Crvena zvezda, who won the European Cup in 1991, but nowadays the Crno-beli are the dominant force in the Serbian Super League, with the team winning their 11th domestic trophy of the 21st century in the 2016/2017 season. Partizan face Crvena zvezda in Veciti derbi (Eternal derby) which is considered one of the greatest derbies in the world. Speaking of the club’s European success, Partizan did well to make it to the European Cup final in the 1965/1966 season, but Real Madrid proved to be a big catch for the Serbian champions in the title game at Heysel Stadium. The likes of Predrag Mijatovic, Miroslav Djukic, Savo Milosevic, Danko Lazovic, Stevan Jovetic, Matija Nastasic, Albert Nadj, Mateja Kezman and Adem Ljajic are the notable footballers who played for Partizan in the past.