Scotland V England Saturday 24th February. 4:45PM. BBC One Scotland v England renew their rivalry…
Besiktas V Feyenoord – Wednesdayday 6th August. 6:30PM.
It’s D-day for Besiktas and Feyenoord when they lock horns at the Ataturk Olympiat this evening. A place in the Promised Land that is the Champions League proper is at stake, and the kudos and revenue that comes with it.
The Dutch outfit are on the ropes following the first leg of this crunch third qualifying round. Indeed, Feyenoord were woeful for much of the game at the De Kuip, a match they eventually lost 2-1.
Eagles swooped in Rotterdam
It was an old-school smash-and-grab by the Black Eagles in Rotterdam. The Turkish club defended with aplomb, and Fred Rutten’s side couldn’t put one past them in open-play, requiring a late penalty to salvage any hope of turning this tie round.
Feyenoord will need to be mentally prepared for what will be a hostile reception in Istanbul. Few sets of club supporters are more vocal than Besiktas’. It’ll be a case of entering the lion’s den for the Dutch.
De Kameraden possess the requisite pace up front to trouble the host’s backline, but the likes of Jean-Paul Boetius and Ruben Shaken were more subdued than usual in the first leg. They will need to be sharper and, moreover, take any chances that come their way tonight.
Besiktas punished Feyenoord’s frivolity in Rotterdam, looking dangerous every time they broke forward on the counter. Given that the Turks are the home side this time, Rutten will be hoping that they will play more expansively, but that’s unlikely.
Indeed, there is no need for Besiktas to play the role of aggressors; tactically their approach will probably be similar to that which they adopted in Holland, an approach which evidently worked extremely well.
Early exchanges key for Feyenoord
The early stages of this clash will be key, particularly for the visitors. In essence, if Feyenoord are to have any chance of rescuing the Phoenix from the flames in this tie, they need an early goal – they need to prevent Slaven Bilic’s charges from getting into a rhythm.
From an entertainment standpoint, the Dutch side would bring greater flamboyance and verve to the tournament, but being tactically astute and versatile is crucial when it comes to qualifying for the Champions League: it’s more Game of Thrones than 24.
Besiktas v Feyenoord betting advice
If the Black Eagles successfully shut Feyenoord out for the first 20 minutes or so, they will probably keep them at bay for the entire match. Besiktas are a tough side to break down when they get into a rhythm.
Even at a top-priced 3/1 with William Hill, I wouldn’t be risking the away win. If you fancy Besiktas for the straight win – and I wouldn’t be quick to discourage punters – the even money on offer with SkyBet will be tempting.
However, I recommend taking a chance on under 1.5 goals at a tasty 11/4 with BetVictor. The rationale behind this is simple: Bilic’s men will keep things tight, knowing that a goalless draw will suffice, and if there is a goal in this game it’ll probably be Besiktas that score it via a counter attack. And if that happens, the bus will be parked and the jig will be up for Feyenoord.
Under 1.5 in the total goals market – 11/4 (BetVictor)