Our prediction for this Europa League match:
All eyes will be on Vodafone Park when Besiktas and Rio Ave face each other in the Europa League third qualifying round. Besiktas failed to impress in the Champions League defeat to PAOK, but they are surely capable of matching Rio Ave at home. Cyle Larin, who ended his loan spell with Zulte-Waregem in the summer, is widely expected to lead the line for the hosts. The Primeira Liga outfit, on the other hand, defeated Bosnian side Borac Banja Luka in the second qualifying round.
Rio Ave face a difficult task in the Vodafone Park clash, and given Besiktas’s form at the start of the new Super Lig campaign, we predict that the visitors are going to return home empty-handed. You should bear in mind that the two clubs meet for the first time ever in European competitions. The likes of Celebi, N’Koudou, and Ozyakup should miss the game with injury for the hosts, while Pereira is rated doubtful.
Highlighted Player (Oguzhan Ozyakup):
The 23-year-old Netherlands-born Turkish international Oguzhan Ozyakup is a midfielder who started his professional career at Premier League giants Arsenal. Ozyakup arrived to the London-based club as a schoolboy from AZ and went through Arsenal academy, before making his competitive debut in a League Cup match against Shrewsbury Town, when he supplied the assist for Yossi Benayoun in a 3-1 victory.
The Turkish international however failed to break into the first-team and was transferred to Besiktas in 2012. Turkey international has passed the 100-match mark for his club in 2016 and is considered one of the more experienced and most valuable players of the club, despite he is only 23 years of age.
The talented midfielder was subject of intense transfer speculation during the 2016 summer transfer window with Valencia reportedly expressing interest in signing the Turkish footballer, but Ozyakup remained at Besiktas and went on to extend his contract, which will keep him at the Vodafone Arena until 2018.
Highlighted Team (Rio Ave):
Nicknamed Rio Grande, Rio Ave are a Portuguese club that compete in Primeira Liga. Rio Ave were founded back in 1939 and they welcome their rivals at Estadio dos Arcos, the stadium which can hold up to 12,815 people.
The team’s home shirt is green with white stripes, whilst the colour of their shorts is green. Rio Ave wear white shirts and white shorts when playing on the travels. The club’s biggest success came in the 2014/2015 season when they represented Portugal in the Europa League group stages. Rio Ave finished the process in the last position in Group J, but they did well to record their first ever win in the competition, with the team beating Danish club Aalborg 2-0 at their Estadio do Rio Ave Futebol Clube.
Former Real Madrid full-back Fabio Coentrao is considered one of the club’s most notable footballers. Manchester City first-choice goalkeeper Ederson played for Rio Ave in the past as well.