Our football match prediction:
Against all odds, Hapoel Be’er Sheva booked their place in the Europa League group stages. The Israeli team did well to leave the likes of Inter and Southampton behind them in Group K and they are brimming with confidence ahead of the two-legged tie against Besiktas. Hapoel are a real force to be reckoned with at home and they are likely to rely on their rock-solid defence in Thursday’s football match against the Turkish outfit. Despite suffering only one defeat in the Champions League group stages, Besiktas eventually failed to book their place in the knockout stages of the elite competition and, no doubt, they are eager to make amends for the unsuccessful campaign. Vincent Aboubakar, who won the Africa Cup of Nations trophy with Cameroon, is likely to lead the line for the visitors against Hapoel and he is likely to pose a big threat for the opposition back-line. Anyhow, we predict that the two teams will play out a draw in the first leg.
Highlighted Player (Veli Kavlak):
Veli Kavlak is an Austrian international midfielder playing for Turkish giants Besiktas since 2011. Kavlak began his professional career at Rapid Wien where he spent seven years before his move to Turkey. A defensive box-to-box midfielder, Veli Kavlak is renowned for his tireless running and endless stamina. Most often deployed at the holding role, Kavlak is a hardworking leader to his team. During most recent times his career has been plagued by numerous injuries which have prevented him from playing his usual role for the Turkish giants. Former Rapid midfielder has endured a difficult season marked by a recurring shoulder problem which kept him out of action for the most part of the campaign. Fitness issues continued in the 2016-17 season forcing Kavlak under the knife for the fifth time in two years. His club notoriously decided to freeze Kavlak’s contract, which means that the 29-year-old midfielder is heading into the new Champions League season without his monthly payments.
Highlighted Team (Besiktas):
Besiktas football club is one of the most successful teams in Turkey. Since its foundation in 1903, Besiktas have never been relegated to a lower rank of Turkish football. Black Eagles as they are known in Turkey play their matches at the Vodafone Arena in Istanbul which is an almost 42,000 all-seater capacity venue. Considered one of the top three football clubs in the country, Besiktas are the 14-time Super Lig champions who are entering the Champions League group stage in the 2016-17 season looking to make their presence known at the European scene. Besiktas have played in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League four times already, and are yet to progress through to the knockout sgateg in the competition that was established in today’s format in 1992. Their most outstanding European achievements of the Turkish side are the European Cup and UEFA Cup quarter-finals in 1987 and 2003, respectively. During their rich history the Black Eagles have also won 9 Turkish Cups and 8 national Super Cup titles.