Play-off. Round of 16
Stadium: NEF Stadyumu (Istanbul)
Referee: Daniele Orsato
In the first leg, Barcelona and Galatasaray were unable to decide the winner, 0-0. Who will advance to the Europa League quarter-finals in the return leg? We predict that the Catalans will win a tough away game!Get Your Welcome Bonus!
Galatasaray have had an incredibly weak season in the Turkish league. From November to February, the Red and Yellows have played 14 games but only managed to pull off one win, which has seen them relegated to the second half of the table and even find themselves just outside the relegation zone. Naturally, such poor results could not be tolerated forever so Domenec Torrent was appointed head coach in January to replace Fatih Terim. In their last six league appearances, the Lions have suffered just one defeat, moving up to 11th place in the Turkish Super League, while, on the other hand, they snatched a draw at the Camp Nou in the first leg of the Europa League last eight, which can also be regarded as a success.
Barcelona continue to improve under Xavi. It seems that the failing times at the Catalan club are close to the end, as they were able to strengthen the squad quite well in the winter transfer window, and the new manager is gradually settling into his new position. In 12 consecutive La Liga games, the Catalans have been unbeaten, with eight wins and four draws so far, moving up to third in the standings before Sevilla are even close behind. Moreover, the Catalans have finally found their football on the attack, so they now score in packs in almost every encounter, with the only exception being the first leg against Galatasaray, which ended in a goalless draw.
History of head-to-head encounters
For their history, the teams have played nine head-to-head encounters. The Turkish side has produced one win, the Spaniards have been stronger in five of their matches, with three games ending in draws. The goal difference is also on the Catalans' side, 14-6. The last time the two sides met a week ago, it was a 0-0 draw in the first leg of the Europa League last 16.
Expert Betting Tips
Barcelona are the unconditional favorite against Galatasaray. Yes, in the first game we did not see any goals scored, but the Catalan club had many dangerous chances, but they failed to implement them. In the second leg, Barcelona will need to turn their advantage into goalscoring chances, and their attacking moves are just fine. Furthermore, Xavi's side drew at home to Napoli in the last round, but won comfortably on the road in a tough encounter, so a trip to Istanbul should not deter them. As a result, a bet on Barcelona's victory with a handicap (-1.5) for 2.01 is inevitable.
In the first match, Galatasaray decided to take a wait-and-see attitude, so they did not go on the attack, giving the ball to Barcelona. There is no doubt that Domenec Torrent's men will act differently at home, otherwise, their public will not understand them. This will be a chance for the Catalans to play on the counterattack, which they know how to use perfectly, but the Istanbul club will also have their chances to score. Moreover, in the last ten games involving the Lions, only two goals have not been exchanged, so the best option for the prediction seems to be Both teams to score - Yes for 1.93.
Memphis Depay has missed more than two months due to injury, so he has not played much under Xavi, but that has not stopped him from being Barcelona's top scorer this season. He has already netted ten goals in the Spanish league, two of which came in the last three legs, totaling just 43 minutes on the pitch. There is a high probability that the 28-year-old footballer again received a lot of playing time in the Europa League, which he will try to use productively. You can bet on Memphis Depay's goal for 2.00.