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Galatasaray and Benfica set for EL stalemate
12 February 2019, 14:42
Galatasaray and Benfica set for EL stalemate
Bukharev Oleg / Shutterstock.com

Galatasaray and Benfica will meet at the Turk Telecom Stadi on Thursday night in the Europa League. Both clubs started the European season in the Champions League. However, neither could progress past the group stage and fell into the Europa League knockout round.

Benfica finished third in a Champions League group including Bayern Munich and Ajax. Meanwhile, Galatasaray disappointingly finished third behind Porto and Schalke.

Both teams should feel good about their chances of making the final this season. A team that started the season in the Champions League has reached the Europa League Final in 10 of the last 11 seasons. Benfica did it in back to back years making the final in 2013 and 2014. However, the Portuguese giants lost the final on both occasions.

Galatasaray are second in the Turkish top-flight and six points behind Istanbul Basaksehir. The team has gone seven games without a loss, last tasting defeat in early December. Galatasaray rely heavily on striker Eren Derdiyok who has scored 10 goals in 18 games in all competitions. Derdiyok was expected to leave Galatasaray in January, but a move to a different club did not materialise.

Benfica will be a difficult match-up for Galatasaray. While Galatasaray managed just four points from their Champions League group stage matches against a weak group, Benfica tallied seven against tougher opposition. The Portuguese team started their European campaign in early August as they had to go through the Champions League third qualifying round and the playoff round. Benfica defeated Turkey’s Fenerbahce and Greece’s PAOK to get to the group stage.

Striker Haris Seferovic leads Benfica in goals with 13 in the Portuguese league. Despite his great domestic record, Serferovic only scored once in the Champions League group stage. Benfica attacking midfielder Pizzi has tallied 12 assists to go along with eight goals. The Portuguese playmaker will look for Seferovic as the pair attempt to break down Galatasaray’s defence.

These two teams have met twice in the 2015-16 Champions League. The home team won each game and both matches ended in 2-1 scorelines. Galatasaray scored just five goals while shipping eight in the Champions League group stage. Benfica tallied six strikes while conceding 11.

Neither club scored many goals against European competition. Thursday night’s fixture will see the two play out a nil-nil draw with neither team able to break down the opposing defence. Although Galatasaray and Benfica are in good form on the domestic front, neither will be able to take the advantage in their Europa League first leg match.

Predictions for Europa League

Home team - Away team Forebet
flag_14  EL
Sevilla FCLazio
20/02/2019 17:00
1
flag_14  EL
ZenitFenerbahçe SK
21/02/2019 17:55
1
flag_14  EL
ArsenalBATE Borisov
21/02/2019 17:55
1
flag_14  EL
Dinamo ZagrebViktoria Plzen
21/02/2019 17:55
1

Europa League - predictions, tips, statistics

Featured match

Home team - Away team Forebet
PR
Burnley
Tottenham

23/02/2019 12:30
2

Group A
OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1. Bayer Leverkusen 13 6 4 1 1 16 9 7
2. FC Zürich 10 6 3 1 2 7 6 1
3. AEK Larnaka 5 6 1 2 3 6 12 -6
4. Ludogorets 4 6 0 4 2 5 7 -2
Group B
OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1. RB Salzburg 18 6 6 0 0 17 6 11
2. Celtic FC 9 6 3 0 3 6 8 -2
3. RB Leipzig 7 6 2 1 3 9 8 1
4. Rosenborg BK 1 6 0 1 5 4 14 -10
Group C
OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1. Zenit 11 6 3 2 1 6 5 1
2. Slavia Praha 10 6 3 1 2 4 3 1
3. Girondins Bordeaux 7 6 2 1 3 6 6 0
4. FC København 5 6 1 2 3 3 5 -2
Group D
OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1. Dinamo Zagreb 14 6 4 2 0 11 3 8
2. Fenerbahçe SK 8 6 2 2 2 7 7 0
3. Spartak Trnava 7 6 2 1 3 4 7 -3
4. Anderlecht 3 6 0 3 3 2 7 -5
Group E
OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1. Arsenal 16 6 5 1 0 12 2 10
2. Sporting CP 13 6 4 1 1 13 3 10
3. Vorskla 3 6 1 0 5 4 13 -9
4. Karabakh Agdam 3 6 1 0 5 2 13 -11
Group F
OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1. Real Betis 12 6 3 3 0 7 2 5
2. Olympiakos Pireus 10 6 3 1 2 11 6 5
3. AC Milan 10 6 3 1 2 12 9 3
4. F91 Dudelange 1 6 0 1 5 3 16 -13
Group G
OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1. Villarreal CF 10 6 2 4 0 12 5 7
2. Rapid Wien 10 6 3 1 2 6 9 -3
3. Rangers FC 6 6 1 3 2 8 8 0
4. Spartak Moscow 5 6 1 2 3 8 12 -4
Group H
OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1. Eintracht Frankfurt 18 6 6 0 0 17 5 12
2. Lazio 9 6 3 0 3 9 11 -2
3. Apollon Limassol 7 6 2 1 3 10 10 0
4. Marseille 1 6 0 1 5 6 16 -10
Group I
OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1. Racing Genk 11 6 3 2 1 14 8 6
2. Malmö FF 9 6 2 3 1 7 6 1
3. Besiktas JK 7 6 2 1 3 9 11 -2
4. Sarpsborg 08 5 6 1 2 3 8 13 -5
Group J
OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1. Sevilla FC 12 6 4 0 2 18 6 12
2. FK Krasnodar 12 6 4 0 2 8 8 0
3. Standard Liège 10 6 3 1 2 7 9 -2
4. Akhisarspor 1 6 0 1 5 4 14 -10
Group K
OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1. Dynamo Kiev 11 6 3 2 1 10 7 3
2. Stade Rennais 9 6 3 0 3 7 8 -1
3. FC Astana 8 6 2 2 2 7 7 0
4. FK Jablonec 5 6 1 2 3 6 8 -2
Group L
OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1. Chelsea 16 6 5 1 0 12 3 9
2. BATE Borisov 9 6 3 0 3 9 9 0
3. Vidi FC 7 6 2 1 3 5 7 -2
4. PAOK Salonica 3 6 1 0 5 5 12 -7
16th Finals
OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-

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