Our football match prediction:
Lyon did well to beat Serie A side Roma in the last 16 of the Europa League, but coach Bruno Genesio must warn his men against complacency ahead of two-legged tie against Besiktast. Les Gones have been scoring goals for fun at their Parc Olympique Lyonnais this season, but they suffered a heavy 4-1 loss to Lorient on home soil at the weekend. Lyon aim to bounce back from the defeat and they will have to take Thursday’s football match against Besiktas very seriously if they are to emerge triumphant in the first leg. Alexandre Lacazette was rested against Lorient, but the team’s top scorer is likely to lead the attack for the hosts against the Turkish side in the Europa League quarter-finals first leg. Besiktas eliminated Olympiakos in the last 16, but considering that Les Gones have turned their Parc Olympique Lyonnais into a real fortress, we predict that the Ligue 1 outfit will emerge triumphant in Thursday's clash.
Highlighted Player (Maxime Gonalons):
The 27-year-old France international defensive midfielder Maxime Gonalons has been with Lyon since the tender age of 10, climbing through the club’s rank all the way to the first-team regular and club captain. Gonalons made his competitive debut for Lyon in 2009 against Anderlecht in the UEFA Champions League playoof round when he came on for Jeremy Toulalan. During the seven seasons with Lyon’s first-team, Maxime Gonalons established himself as the mainstay completing the total of 212 Ligue 1 appearances. Reliable midfielder has been a major impact in Lyon’s Champions League challenges as well, taking part in all of his club’s five appearances in Europe’s elite competition last year. Playing in the holding role at Lyon, Maxime Gonalons’ influence is pivotal as the French international adds much needed steel to the midfield allowing his more creative teammates the freedom and carelessness upfront. His locker room impact is equally crucial as the 27-year-old midfielder is an imposing figure both on and off the pitch.
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.