Our prediction for this Europa League match:
Bakcell Arena will host Thursday’s Europa League qualifiers between Neftci Baku and Galatasaray. The Azeri outplayed Shkupi 2-1 in the first qualifying round, but they will have to be at their sharpest this time out if they are to cross one hurdle more in the qualifiers. Galatasaray failed to impress in the last Turkish Super Lig campaign, but thanks to their displays in the season finale, they eventually booked their place in European competitions.
The famous Turkish outfit have big ambitions for the 2020/21 Europa League campaign, and it has to be noted that the likes of Arda Turan, Omar Elabdellaoui, Fatih Ozturk, Emre Klinc, Kerem Akturkoglu, and Oghenekaro Etebo signed permanent deals with the club. Anyhow, Galatasaray are more of a team than Neftchi, and they are likely to prove their worth on the field. The good news for the visitors is that experienced attacker Radamel Falcao has overcome his long-term injury.
Highlighted Player (Radamel Falcao):
Radamel Falcao, nicknamed the “Colombian Tiger”, is considered one of the best players in the history of Colombian football. The 177-cm-tall attacker is well known for his brilliant finishing and his header technique gives him an advantage in aerial battles with opposition defenders.
Falcao was born in Santa Marta, Colombia on 10 February, 1986 and he started his senior career at Lanceros Boyaca. He played for Argentine giants River Plate between 2005 and 2009 and in 2009 he joined Porto. After scoring 41 goals in 51 league appearances for the Dragons, Falcao signed for Atletico Madrid on 18 August 2011 for a fee of €40 million.
The Colombian attacker helped los Rojiblancos win Europa League trophy in 2012, scoring 12 goals in the process. He played for Monaco in the 2013/2014 Ligue 1 campaign and in 2014 he signed a loan deal with Manchester United. He scored just 4 goals in 26 league appearances for the Red Devils and was later loaned to Chelsea before returning to Stade Louis II.
Highlighted Team (Galatasaray):
Over the years Galatasaray have established themselves as one of the best teams in Turkey. The Aslanlar (the Lions) were founded back in October 1905 by Ali Sami Yen and fellow students of Galatasaray High School. Ali Sami Yen himself was the club’s first president and, as a result, he was given the club’s membership No. 1.
The Gala are one of the most successful Turkish teams and it has to be noted that they won their 21st Super Lig trophy in the 2017/2018 season. The capital club collected 75 points from possible 102, with the team finishing the season three points clear of their bitter rivals Fenerbahce. Speaking of European success, Galatasaray won UEFA Cup in the 1999/2000 season, with the team beating Arsenal on penalties in the title game.
In 2000 the Lions won UEFA Super cup as they outplayed star-studded Real Madrid 2-1 at Stade Louis II in Monaco. Galatasaray play their home games at Turk Telekom Stadi and they are well known for their yellow and red jerseys.