Turkish Teams Vie For European Glory
The 2016-17 season sees four Turkish teams competing in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League, but which of the quartet will progress furthest in European competitions?
Besiktas are Turkey’s representatives in the Champions League this season. The reigning Turkish champions find themselves in Group B along with Benfica, Dynamo Kiev, and Napoli.
It has been a solid start to the group stages for Besiktas as they are currently unbeaten thanks to 1-1 draws away to Benfica and home to Dynamo Kiev. These two points have online bookmakers price Besiktas as +1000 to win the group, +180 to qualify from Group B, and +50000 to go all the way and win the Champions League.
As much as we’d love Besiktas to be crowned champions of Europe, we have to be realistic and appreciate that as good as Besiktas can perform on their day, there are stronger teams out there with much larger transfer budgets.
The +180 on Besiktas to qualify from Group B looks like a very good bet simply because they are a better team than both Benifca and Dynamo Kiev and the ferocious home crowd in Istanbul is sure to act like a 12th man for them; nobody is going to want to play at the Vodafone Arena.
We believe that Besiktas are good for a point in their next Champions League game on October 19 when they travel to Napoli; you can get +400 on the draw and this is a bet that we will be looking to make.
Overall, Besiktas are the best equipped of the Turkish sides to progress the deepest in European competitions this season and could even progress to the Round of 16 or beyond if they play to their potential and lady luck helps when required.
Fenerbache reached the semi-finals of the Europa League in the 2012-13 season, possibly the club’s greatest European achievement. Last season, Fenerbahce progressed to the Round of 16 where they lost 4-2 on aggregate to Braga of Portugal.
Fast forward to the 2016-17 season and Fenerbahce find themselves in Group A of the Europa League with Manchester United, Feyenoord, and Zorya Lugansk, a difficult group, but one that they have every chance of getting out of.
Bovada price Fenerbahce at +300, second favourites to win the group, with Manchester United being the favourites at -200. United should top the group if they play to their potential, but Jose Mourinho’s team have been inconsistent and are definitely beatable, particularly when they are away from the friendly confines of Old Trafford.
Fenerbahce top the group having already beaten Feyenoord at home and drawing Zorya on the road. We can see them picking up at least a point at home to Manchester United. Both Feyenoord and Zorya are beatable so +300 to win the group looks a good bet, particularly if Manchester United slip up again. Fenerbahce should qualify second if they don’t pip United as group winners.
Konyaspor are rank outsiders for Europa League glory this season with bookmakers pricing them as much as +20000 to emerge victorious and lift the winner’s trophy. They find themselves in Group H with Shakhtar Donestsk (who they lost 1-0 at home to), Gent and Braga.
Priced at +10000 to win Group H, mostly because Shakhtar are clear favourites (+1400), Konyaspor have an outside chance of progressing as a runner-up from the group, particularly because both Gent and Braga are beatable.
In order to have a chance of making it through to the next round, Konyaspor need to pick up points on the road against the two weaker sides and hopefully beat one or both of them on home soil in front of a capacity 42,276 crowd.
Osmanlispor compete in the Group L of the Europa League, where they are +600 third favourites to progress, with FC Zurich +500, meaning bookmakers believe it will be a close call as to which team finishes as runner-up to Spain’s Villarreal.
Neither Zurich nor Steaua Bucharest is the force they once were, and both can definitely be beaten on home soil. We recommend betting on individual matches, especially when Osmanlispor are at home rather than looking at Osmanlispor futures, as they don’t have enough European pedigree to warrant a viable long-term bet.