Club Brugge welcome Turkish outfit, Besiktas, to the Jan Breydel Stadium on Thursday evening. The hosts are the slight favourites going into the tie and in the two previous meetings, they were victorious.
The most recent trip on the road to UEFA Europa Conference League qualification, witnessed Club Brugge face La Liga side Osasuna. The first leg in Spain saw the game end 2-1 to the Belgian side despite only having four shots all game and facing 17 themselves, which just highlights how clinical Ronny Deila’s side can be. That said, the second leg in Belgium was a completely different contest and the tie ended 2-2, which allowed Club Brugge to progress.
Interestingly, Club Brugge’s most exciting and dangerous player barely featured across the two legs, but there is no doubt he will have a say in the proceedings on Thursday. 18-year-old, Antonio Nusa, is an athletic, tall winger who loves to attack full backs. The Norwegian international has had an immense few weeks, assisting three times and scoring his first goal for his country, as well as registering a goal and an assist in this weekend’s 4-2 win against Charleroi.
Senol Gunes’ side have had a rather inconsistent season so far in the Turkish Superlig, picking up seven points from four games. Besiktas’ most recent league match saw them suffer a 3-0 away defeat to rivals, Trabzonspor, which doesn’t put them in a great position going into Thursdays European clash. It seems that they struggle slightly more when on the road which is an aspect they will be desperate to improve upon.
Unfortunately for the Black Eagles, they have had some issues in the attacking third, boasting a disappointing average of only one goal per match. Their top goal scorer is Omar Colley, who is a defender, and all of their attackers have blanked so far, minus Milot Rashica. Gunes will desperately need Vincent Aboubakar, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Ante Rebic to start performing and they may suffer against Club Brugge if they don’t increase their performance levels.
Club Brugge usually see plenty of goals in their games but Besiktas have played in some rather dull encounters this season. I think Besiktas’ disappointing defeat last week will give the side a wakeup call and they should be determined to bounce back.
The final prediction is Club Brugge 1-1 Besiktas