Burnley v Istanbul Basaksehir | Thursday 16th August 2018
Bizarrely, this game isn’t on TV in the UK on Thursday but it should be a good game, in prospect. The first-leg ended 0-0 and if Burnley are to progress, they’ll face either Olympiakos or Luzern in the Europa League play-off.
It’ll be a tough test for Sean Dyche’s men though, against a Basaksehir side that contains former Premier League players Gokhan Inler, Gael Clichy, Eljero Elia and Emmanuel Adebayor.
This is the Clarets’ first European campaign since 1966, where they lost to Frankfurt in the quarter-finals. There’s still a long way to go until they reach that stage this year but a win on Thursday would certainly be a good start.
Travelling to Turkey in the first-leg, playing in what looked to be an extremely hostile atmosphere in Istanbul and returning with a goalless draw is no mean feat, and you’d have to say Burnley are in the driving seat in this tie. It’s tight in the betting, with the bookies pricing the home side up as 5/6 favourites to qualify and their opponents at 11/10.
The first-leg was a cagey affair and Burnley managed just two shots all game – their fewest since 2012. I can see a similar game on Thursday, with neither team looking to give too much away. Sean Dyche will also be looking to avoid the Turkish side getting an away goal, which could lead to an overly defensive performance from the Clarets.
Basaksehir have decided not to sell tickets to any of their supporters, meaning the away end at Turf Moor will be closed. This will be a huge contrast to what their normally used to when playing at home and how this will affect them is yet to be seen.
They have never kept a clean sheet away from home in European competition, conceding 17 goals in their previous eight matches, but that shouldn’t bother them too much, knowing that an away goal will mean that Burnley need to score at least two.
Emmanuel Adebayor is available for them on Thursday though and the former Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham striker will be relishing the chance to score goals back in England again. The Togolese striker scored 15 goals in 30 games in Istanbul last season and you wouldn’t put it past him scoring at Turf Moor on Thursday evening.
Burnley are winless in nine games (D6, L3) and were taken to extra-time by an inferior Aberdeen side in their last Europa League game. They have injuries to Robbie Brady, Steven Defour and Matej Vydra, while goalkeepers Nick Pope and Tom Heaton are also unavailable. Joe Hart will play in goal – he hasn’t kept three clean sheets in a row since March 2016 but could do so here.
The Clarets have scored exactly one goal in 14 of their last 27 Premier League home games and I can see a similar thing happening here. Sean Dyche won’t go too gung-ho and will definitely look to nick this by the odd goal. Burnley to score exactly one goal is 8/5 with Bet 365 but will that be enough to see them through to the next round? We'll see.
Burnley v Istanbul Basaksehir – Burnley to score exactly one goal (8/5 Bet365)