The prelude to the second round in the Europa League will take place in Istanbul. Next Tuesday, d. February 12 at 6:55 pm, the traditional Turkish club Fenerbahce Istanbul plays in the home Sükrü Saracoglu stadium against the Russian representative Zenit St. Petersburg. The guests from St. Petersburg won their preliminary group C in front of Slavia Prague and thus entered the knockout stage. The Turks finished behind Dinamo Zagreb in the preliminary group D second place and thus could also qualify for the second round.
Fenerbahce vs Zenit St. Petersburg Today’s Football Prediction
For many experts Fenerbahce is despite the poor performance in the league as a favorite in this game. The advantage of course is that they play at home and in contrast to the guests are in the game mode. For most of the players from the Turkish traditional club, the Europa League is a welcome change from the league’s daily routine. The game is another chance to recharge your batteries. The Russians do not know exactly where they stand. The last competitive game is less than two months ago.
The stumbling traditional club from Istanbul is still in acute danger of relegation. Although it went up in the last few weeks and you could enter a few important victories u.a. 3-2 victory against Yeni Malatyaspor, 2-0 against Göztepe, there was a setback last weekend. Away with Kayserispor there was a 0: 1 defeat. The team of coach Ersun Yanal had to play with only ten men for almost the entire second half, as Roberto Soldado received the red card in the 45 + 2 minute. The team fought bravely. However, she was not rewarded. In the 87th minute came the hosts by Kravets to 1: 0. In added time Fenerbahce player Arslan still received the yellow-red card. Fenerbahce Istanbul now has 23 points, putting them in 14th position in the Süper Lig. Just one point clear of the first direct relegation zone.
Expected lineup Fenerbahce Istanbul
Volkan – Isla, Neustädter, Serdar Aziz, Kaldirim – Jailson – Dirar, Ekici, Arslan, A. Ayew – Soldado
Zenit St. Petersburg
The league leaders of the Russian league is currently still in the winter break. Thus, the first leg against Fenerbahce Istanbul is the first competitive game of the Russians this year. The first league match in 2019 will take place on March 2nd. In the league they lead with one point ahead of FK Krasnodar. The last league game they lost at home to Rubin Kazan with 1: 2. The team is provided with many local players. Most famous is striker Artem Dzyuba, who caused a sensation at the last World Cup with his goals. In addition to the locals, the squad is still peppered with some South Americans. Zenit St. Petersburg coach is Sergey Semak, who has only been in office since May 2018.
Expected lineup Zenit St. Petersburg
Lunev – Anyukov, Ivanovic, Neto – Kuzyaev, Erokhin, Paredes, Hernani, Mak – Driussi, Shatov
Prediction Today: Fenerbahce Istanbul wins