EUROPEAN football fanatic Mark O'Haire (@MarkOHaire) heads to Turkey on Sunday for his latest best bet on the continent.
Galatasaray v Yeni Malatyaspor | Sunday 16th February 2020, 16:00
Galatasaray have taken top honours in past two Turkish Super Lig seasons since legendary boss Fatih Terim returned to the club, although the 66-year-old’s fourth stint with the Istanbul giants nearly came to a sour end before Christmas with the Yellow-Reds out of sorts and 10 points adrift of table-topping Sivasspor.
An unusual degree of patience was shown by the Gala board and their restraint has been rewarded with the 22-time champions storming straight back into contention for the title with five successive league triumphs, scoring 17 goals in the process. The Lions have clicked into gear with Sofiane Feghouli and Emre Akbaba impressing in Terim’s preferred 4-2-3-1.
Mario Lemina and Jean-Michael Seri have formed a solid central midfield partnership and Adem Buyuk has been prolific in Radamel Falcoa’s absence. The Colombian has returned to the full training this week to give Galatasaray extra options in the final-third and it’s difficult to dismiss the hosts from picking up a sixth win on the spin when Yeni Malatyaspor arrive.
Gala have suffered a solitary home league loss in 38 and boast a 78% win rate here during Terim’s latest tenure with the Yellow-Reds. However, with the hosts too short to support at their Match Odds quotes, I’m happy to throw Over 1.5 Goals into the mix to bolster the price to a more palatable 8/11 (Coral).
Galatasaray have seen their last seven Super Lig games break the Over 2.5 Goals barrier, whilst there have been at least two goals in all 11 of Malatyaspor’s road trips this term.
The visitors come into this clash on the back of three straight losses and new head coach Kemal Ozdes's reign kicked off with an unflattering home reverse.
Malatyaspor also make the journey to Istanbul without a series of key players – Moryke Fofana, Teenage Hadebe and Gokhan Tore are crocked, and with Mustafa Akbas banned, the guests will be forced into a number of positional changes. Karim Hafez might be asked to fill a makeshift right wing-back slot with Robin Yalcin filling in at the back.
It’s a far from ideal situation for Ozdes's outfit and in-form Galatasaray should be well capable of making the visitors pay on Sunday evening.
Galatasaray v Yeni Malatyaspor – Galatasaray to win and Over 1.5 Goals (8/11 Coral)