FC Copenhagen v Istanbul Basaksehir | Wednesday 5th August 2020, 17:55 | BT Sport
Istanbul Basaksehir head into this much delayed UEFA Europa League second leg tie not only holding a 1-0 advantage from the home encounter all the way back in March, but also having secured their first ever Turkish Super Lig title. In the end, they won the Turkish top division by four points having twice been runners-up in recent seasons.
FC Copenhagen are also used to winning their league, and although they finished second behind Midtjylland, they were a whopping 14 points behind. The Danish side however have a second chance at a major title this season as they remain in Europe, although they have a first leg deficit to overcome.
Both clubs finished their regular season on June 26th, so there isn’t a case of one side having more or less rest compared to the other. Both should be in pretty decent shape in that regard.
FCK unconvincing without key personnel
Copenhagen do have back-to-back wins to their name at least, although they made rather heavy weather of doing so. In that, they’ve made heavy weather of everything for a while now, and certainly since football resumed for them in June.
FCK initially started well by going five unbeaten, but they followed that run up with five without a win, including four defeats. Their lack of quality in strength in depth in proving an issue, and they are badly missing some key players through injury.
Viktor Fischer has played 16 minutes since football returned and is unlikely to return any time soon. Their best striker; Dame N’Doye returned from injury to score the winning goal against Nordsjaelland, however he has since left the club having failed to agree a new contract. This leaves Copenhagen much weakened in attack and a mammoth effort is required to remain in the UEFA Europa League.
Basaksehir buzzing after title triumph
A lack of strength in depth is no probably whatsoever to Basaksehir, considering they normally have the likes of Demba Ba, Robinho, Gokhan Inler and Eljero Elia regular sitting in the dugout. They’ve rotated over the last few weeks after the title was secured, so freshness also shouldn’t be much of an issue to the Turks.
One concern however is keeping just three away clean sheets in 2020, and they’ve only ever kept one European away clean sheet. How they manage this tie really is the key, as if they can pinch the first goal it’d remove any immediate nerves or concerns.
No interest in the hosts
Copenhagen are a team I have a bit of a soft spot for and always keep an eye out for them. I’ve not been impressed by them for a little while now, and whilst they’re capable of putting in a performance we aren’t seeing too much evidence of that based on more recent results in Europe.
FCK have been in this competition every year since 2017, and their only home wins in that time came against Lugano, Riga, CSKA Sofia, Stjarnan, Sheriff, Zlin, and, to be fair, Ajax, but that was March 2017.
I’m not interested at all in backing the Danes here, even more so seeing that are the favourites. Fans have been returning to matches in Denmark and Copenhagen won’t get that as an additional benefit this time as this will return to behind closed doors. This is a breakthrough season for Basaksehir, who already have their first league title under their belts and I like the job of them to progress in style here.
I like a bit of 15/8 (Sky Bet) on an away victory in this second leg. They have enough quality to attack to expose Copenhagen, who will have to take some risks, and, even so, they’re not the most reliable right now.
FC Copenhagen v Istanbul Basaksehir – IstanbulBasaksehir to win (15/8 Sky Bet)