Category: Soccer News

euro 2016 qualification

Euro 2016 draw and national team analysis

Euro 2016 draw and teams analysis

Euro 2016 – Group A


Against all predictions, Albania managed to ensure their participation in Euro 2016 draw. This is a major tournament for the first time in their history. Based on their appearances in Euro qualifying 2016 stage, they deserved the direct ticket to the final of EURO 2016. Consistency, good chemistry as a team and of course the title of a clear underdog played a key role on their way. They loaded with anxiety rival teams such as Denmark, Serbia. Their main advantages are that they are a tough team with passion, with many runs and overlaps. There is no player for the Balkans that could take the team on his shoulders.


The hostess, France will try to return to the top of European football. They have as ally the power of playing at home and the quality roster that is available. Been complete into midfield and solid defensively, the team of Didier Deschamps is undoubtedly one of the favorites to go far in the final stage of Euro 2016. They need to find the right chemistry in the attack. While we write this text, Olivier Giroud makes excellent performances with Arsenal’s shirt. With the facts so far it would be unfair to the molded attacker to be on the bench. The French coach will have to shuffle the deck and go to a formation with two strikers. He has several players who can keep the ball and feed with passes the attacking line.


They managed to ensure the participation in Euro easily as they remained unbeaten. They had trouble in the second half of the preliminary stage having several ups and downs in their performance. A typical example is the four consecutive draws, where they only scored one goal. That was the time when they actually lost the lead in the group. The great weapon of the Balkans is their good defensive function with several support from the midfield. On the other hand, They have a problem on the attacking part as no player can put the ball easily into the keeper’s nets. Simultaneously compared to past teams, there is lack of a big star (Hagi – Mutu). The second one is gathering chances to be included in the squad.


They are now a considerable force on the European scene. In the recent years, they have managed to create a highly competitive team, having appearances in the biggest football appointments. They may not have the absolute star, but there are players who have several experiences of the top leagues in Europe. Some of them stand out with their good performances. Shaqiri, Drmic and Lichtsteiner are the pillars for the “rossocrociati”. Switzerland will try to qualify for the first time in their history of the group stages. This goal is within to their capacities as the other groups, except the hostess (France), are not much better than them.


euro 2016 draw

Euro 2016 – Group B


The excellent performances in the qualifying phase raise high expectations for the entire nation. This is the first time they show seriousness and stability. They passed Euro 2016 qualification easily. England gained 10 wins in 10 games. This is something that fills with expectations the English federation. Although it has not been clearly stated, the team has great possibilities to reach the top of European football. They remain the only traditional power that has failed to take the title and this summer may be a first class opportunity for that. The only question mark is the consecutive games that the key players play in the Premier League. Frequent injuries and also homogeneity are the two most important factors. National teams that have reached the highest rung at national level had as an advantage that selections of the respective coaches were from two clubs that starred in the domestic league. 


Continuous coaching changes have a negative impact since the infrastructures exist. Unfortunately stability lacks mainly over the years for Russia. They are capable of the best but also the worst. Russia suffered a huge debacle during World Cup of 2014 in the stadiums of Brazil when they failed to continue in a quite passable group. They secured the ticket to the final phase for the fourth consecutive time without been particularly convincing with their appearances. In games against the two most powerful opponents they had big troubles. The talent exists but they have to try harder this time to make the extra step. The fact that they will host the World Cup 2018 could be the key to qualification at least to the next phase.


For the first time in their history as an independent country, Slovakia will participate in the final phase of Euro. They have already failed five times before. In recent years they have made significant progress. Highlight is their presence in the World Cup 2010 in the stadiums of N.Africa where they actually progressed from the group stages. Undoubtedly they cannot face longer-range teams. Based on some good players they have, they are able to do the damage to anyone underestimates them. The group is based primarily on technique but lacks alot in running, experience and power. Marek Hamsik is the key player that pulls the entire burden in Narodny.


Huge football personalities of the past, such as Ian Rush, Ryan Giggs and Mark Hughes, did not manage to achieve the feat that only two great players in the global scene did. Reference is made about Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey who took Wales by the hand. They led it for the first time in its history in the final stage of a major event. They was flanked by players who perform more than their actual capacity. Wales is a compact group with its main weapon to be the speed but also the great running. The last factor gives the opportunity to the “fire” duo to exploit every opportunity they can.

euro 2016 qualification

Euro 2016 – Group C


The World Champions will start in this competition, as the number one favorite to win the Euro 2016. They have the most complete roster than any other national team taking part in the tournament next summer. They have improved noticeably compared to previous competitions. Germany has class players but many of them are forced to be on the bench. This is a sample of the number of options available for Joachim Low. On the positive side for the “Panzer”, apart from anything else, is their homogeneity. Their basic starting lineup plays in Bayern Munich. The end of Bundesliga for one month provides valuable breaths and keeps players fresh.


For the first time in their history they will take part in the final phase of Euro, after 14 consecutive failed attempts. N.Ireland managed to ensure their participation with ease, finishing first in group F of the preliminary phase. They have as main weapons cohesion as a team and also the fighting spirit of all the players who play. The truth is that they are one of the weakest teams that will take part in the tournament next summer. They do not have players with great quality and technical training. They are based primarily on the excellent form of Kyle Lafferty. It will be too difficult for them to qualify to the next stage, but all these should be seen on the field since even nowadays football miracles can happen…


Significant progress in recent years on the European scene for Poland. They will be found for third consecutive time in a final phase in EURO and now they are called to prove that they have matured greatly. Coach Adam Nawalka has managed to create a highly competitive team. Poland is primarily based on its superstar Robert Lewandowski, one of the leading strikers currently on the planet. They have players with performances in the top leagues in Europe. The major disadvantage of Biale Orly is that they the lack of personalities. With limited exceptions all the burden falls, as expected, on Bayern Munich’s striker.


This is only their second participation in a final phase. The first one was in 2012 when they co-hosted Euro along with Poland. They managed to get the ticket via the barrage procedure, playing double games against Slovenia. The biggest weapon for Ukraine is their defense. They conceded only four goals in the preliminaries. This is the second best performance of the UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying groups that will be found in the stadiums of France next summer. Fomenko’s team will have to change a number of things in its game if they want to hope to qualify to the next stage. They struggle to score easy goals despite having enough quality attacking midfielders.

euro qualifying 2016

Euro 2016 – Group D


For the fourth time (1996, 2004, 2008, 2012) in history they will participate in a final phase. This time they aim to make the extra step, since the talent exists for the team of Ante Cacic. They have players with performances in the top leagues in Europe and in the qualifying phase they showed quite stable. This is something that was missing in the previous years. It is a well made team with its midfielder line to be the big gun. Only few teams in the tournament have players with individual characteristics of Modric, Rakitic, Mandzukic and Kovacic. The biggest bet is whether the team can keep its homogeneity during the tournament. It is not that difficult for all the effort to be thrown in the air after the first negative result which might not be in the schedule.


Having one winning Euro back in 1976 as Czechoslovakia and 8 appearances in a final phase, Czech Republic have lost much of its old splendor. It has a compact and high-quality team, fact that was indisputably demonstrated in the qualifying phase. The team of Pavel Vrba managed to finish in the first place leaving behind teams like Netherlands. Next summer they will try to get the ticket for the knockout matches. The group they participate is far from looking prohibitive. In its ranks there are players who have experience in European leagues. Unfortunately, excluding Petr Cech none of the others is considered to play at top level.


The holder of the last two Euros and totally three times winner (1964, 2008, 2012) will seek to prove that they still remain one of the major forces in European football after the great failure in World Cup. They have an excellent squad with superiority in midfield. For example, players like Cesc Fabregas, Juan Mata and Santi Cazorla, have to stay on the bench many times. The only drawback, compared to the other lines, is the lack of an aggressive striker. Diego Costa cannot lift the full weight in the attacking line, mainly due to speed reasons and the way Iberians like to play. Along with Germany, they are the two big favorites based on roster, quality and experience to win the tournament.


With three (1996, 2000, 2008) participations in a EURO final phase, they will attempt to make the extra step this summer. The group of opponents is not prohibitive for Turkey. They managed to get the ticket as the third best team of all groups in the qualifying round. They have some prominent players on the European scene who can make the difference. Talent exists for Fatih Terim’s team. Under his guidance, the team was able to claim the Euro 2016 qualification to the next phase. The group of teams, apart from Spain, remains open to any prediction regarding the 2nd position.

euro 2016 draw cup

Euro 2016 – Group E


Undoubtedly, the rising power in European football will try to confirm the high expectations with parchment the success in World Cup 2014. That time, they reached the quarterfinals and were eliminated by the subsequent finalist Argentina. They feature a roster of world-class players who play a key role in the jersey of the clubs they play for. Their big advantage is the fact that there are several alternatives coming from the bench. Hazard, De Bruyne, Kompany, Courtois and Lukaku is a sample of the quality of “Red Devils”. In addition, the only drawback so far are the many injuries afflicting the leader and pillar of the defense Vincent Kompany. He has played in few games this season with the shirt of Manchester City.


Although they have lost big part from the glamour of the past, they will try for a similar appearance to that in 2012. They reached the final that year. However, the successive failures to qualify from the group stage in the World Cup attest that they need new blood. After the imminent retirement of Andrea Pirlo from the national team, the only one left from the old team is Gigi Buffon. He will try with his experience and along with 3-4 players to convey to young players the spirit of winning. The superstar is probably missing, but the team of Antonio Conte is compact with excellent defensive line, which mainly consists of players of Juventus.


The fact that this is only the third time they will participate in a final phase of EURO is a huge success for Ireland. Ireland is one of the weakest theoretical teams that secured the ticket in the stadiums of France next summer. They have a well-trained team. Their great advantages are good defending and passion. They lack in quality, technical training and top class footballers on the field. The group, of the identifiable coach Martin O’Neill, will try with the experience of Robbie Keane to oppose, as much as possible, the other Euro 2016 groups. It will be very difficult to accomplish anything more than to finish in the last position of the group.


Without distinctions, except this back in 1992 when they reached the semifinals, Sweden will try to “break” the favorite duo, Belgium and Italy. They will also try to qualify in the next stage. They got the Euro 2016 qualification ticket in the process of barrage, leaving out Denmark in the Scandinavian derby. Now everyone’s mind is in next summer’s tournament, where having the superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the forefront, Eric Hamren’s team will try to make the excess. They have a lot of players who play in the major European leagues. The lack of first-class players in several positions and the absence of a quality bench makes the task of “Blagult” resemble extremely difficult.

euro 2016 qualification

Euro 2016 – Group F


Without any doubt they have been the pleasant surprise of the preliminary phase. Furthermore, not only they got the qualification easily (winner in their group), but also with the appearances they performed they disproved all forecasts. Austria scored 9 victories and had only one draw in a total of ten games. They left behind teams like Russia and Sweden. The team of Marcel Koller had the second best harvest of points after England. If we consider the teams British faced, we can easily understand the size of the success for “Unsere Burschen”. In recent years, they have managed to find players like David Alaba and Marco Arnautovic. Both of them make their presence felt in the top European leagues. They also have one of the most promising players, Kevin Wimmer, who belongs to the roster of Tottenham.


The glory of the past decades (1950s and 1960s) has gone for Hungary. World-class players are absent from the roster that will take part in the final stage next summer. It is a huge success to qualify to the stadiums of France, since this will be only their third (1964, 1972) participation. They will endeavor to compete in a group where they have another clear disadvantage in quality compared to other teams. Storck’s team is very hard to get any good position in this group of teams. So, in case they are underestimated they are capable of doing some surprises.


This will be the first participation in the final stage of the European Championship. In the beginning of the Euro 2016 draw few were those who were giving qualifying hopes to Iceland. Under the guidance of Lars Lagerback and Heimir Hallgrimsson, the” Strakarnir okkar” made excellent performances during the qualifying phase. They left behind teams like Netherlands. They also forced Turkey to wait until the final day to ensure the “third good” ticket that gave direct qualification. The superstar may be absent from this team, but as they proved, they are based on teamwork, passion and the will of the players for distinction.


First of all, they have in the starting lineup the top player who will take part in the biggest football event of this summer. Portugal will try in another big tournament to make the extra step. The truth is that if someone looks up in the recent past, he can ascertain that almost all the eliminations of the Iberians in the knockout phase were judged in the details. In many cases they were unlucky. The team of Fernando Santos has quality players. A great disadvantage for several years is the fact that the team lacks of a leading striker to release the superstar of Real Madrid. If they had a first class striker, they would automatically become one of the favorites for winning the tournament. Portugal had a very easy euro 2016 qualification group.


German Bundesliga Predictions for the 2014-15 Season

German BundesligaThe 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil ended with Germany celebrating its fourth victory in the tournament and this brought the country back to the pinnacle of international football. Its premier domestic competition is the German Bundesliga and this has always been one of the strongest leagues in Europe. It is certainly one of the best supported, with average crowds of around 45,000 fans watching the games each week. Many of the superstars of word football play in the league and with German football on a high after its World Cup success, the 2014-15 Bundesliga season is one to look forward to.

German Bundesliga Predictions for the Champion

When it comes to Bundesliga predictions for the champions each year, one team tends to dominate and with good reason. Bayern Munich has always been the biggest team in German domestic football and they have a record of success that is second to none. The league was originally established in 1963, which means it has now been running for just over 50 years, and in this time Bayern have been champions a total of 23 times. This puts them way ahead of any of the other teams that regularly compete in the German Bundesliga standings. In the last couple of years they have been particularly dominant, winning the German Bundesliga by a massive 25 points in the 2012-13 season and an almost as impressive 19 points in 2013-14. They have a number of the recent World Cup winners in their ranks and this includes Thomas Muller, Philipp Lahm, and Bastian Schweinsteiger. Other star players include Arjen Robben of Holland and Franck Ribery of France. This gives them an extremely strong squad that is used to success and it is difficult to see them being anywhere but on top of the league at the end of the season.
The team that has been the closest challenger to Bayern Munich in recent years is Borussia Dortmund. This rise to prominence has been guided by manager Jurgen Klopp, with the club being German Bundesliga champions in 2010-11 and 2011-12, as well as ending the last two seasons as runners up. While they were expected to run Bayern closer this year, their start to the 2014-15 season has been poor and they recorded as many losses in their opening 11 games as they did in the whole of last season. With quality players in their squad such as Mats Hummels, Matthias Ginter, and Adrian Ramos, they should improve although it already seems unlikely they will repeat their success of recent years. The challenge for the title is more likely to come from teams such as Vfl Wolfsburg, Schalke 04, and Bayern Leverkusen although Bayern already lead the way in the league and its hard to see past them being crowned champions for the third year in a row.

Bundesliga Predictions for European Spots

German soccer predictions for European spots are more difficult to pin down, with a number of teams in with a shot. The top three teams at the end of the season qualify for the Champions League group stage, with the fourth placed team having to successfully negotiate a play-off round if they want to earn a place in one of the Champions League groups. The team in fifth place goes straight into the Europa League group stage and finishing sixth earns a spot in the Europa League qualifying round. So which teams are likely to be filling these places come the end of the season? The big four in German football in recent years has been Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Schalke 04 and Bayern Leverkusen. Schalke and Leverkusen have had decent starts to their seasons and it is likely they will be vying for a top four spot again. As already stated, Dortmund have been on a run of poor form although over the season they should pick up and there is every chance they will finish in the top six. Other teams likely to put in a strong challenge for a European spot include Vfl Wolfsburg and Borussia Monchengladbach, both of which started the season in impressive form. While Bayern are head and shoulders above the competition at the moment, the other teams are fairly evenly matched and any of the teams mentioned above has a decent chance of grabbing a Champions League spot. Teams with an outside chance of making it in to one of the Europa League places are considered to be 1899 Hoffenheim and Hannover 96.

German Bundesliga Relegation

The bottom two teams are relegated each year, with the clubs that come up from the second division generally being the prime candidates to drop back down again. FC Koln and SC Paderborn were the two clubs that stepped up to the German Bundesliga for the 2014-15 season. Both have shown decent early season form to sit mid-table although they are likely to be there or thereabouts when relegation is decided at the end of the season. The third bottom team enters a play off against the third top team in the second division, with the winners of this earning the right to play in the top league. Hamburger SV ended up third from bottom last season and narrowly avoided relegation by taking victory in the play off game. They have started the season poorly and are more than likely to be fighting to avoid relegation again. Other teams that might struggle include SC Freiburg and Hertha BSC. When it comes to German Bundesliga tips, Paderborn is a likely candidate to fill one of the two automatic relegation places. This is their first time ever in the Bundesliga and they are a small team that does not really have the resources to survive. The second automatic relegation place and play-off spot are likely to be fought out by the other four teams mentioned above.
So there you have some Bundesliga predictions for the 2014-15 season, which is already underway and shaping up to be a great year of football. The odds-on forecast is that Bayern Munich will make it title number 24, with the only question being how close the challengers can get to them. The race for European places is likely to involve a number of clubs and this is also true for relegation. This should provide some exciting action for those who love betting on German Bundesliga.

Botafogo vs Palmeiras – Brazil Serie A

Botafogo vs Palmeiras

Botafogo vs Palmeiras

Botafogo Brazil news

The three-day crisis ended with a defeat in El Salvador by Vitoria. Botafogo were down due to a silly penalty in 52′, equalized after a mistake of the opponent’s defense in 68′, but in 74′ they conceded a second goal, losing the match fairly.

This was the second consecutive defeat for the “fogao”, who fell in the penultimate position, paying the many out-field problems.

Palmeiras FC news:

Having Valdivia in the lineup, as he was vindicated in the appeal on the day of the match, Palmeiras found themselves losing in 41′ to Chapecoense, but in the second half they were excellent and scored four goals from 50′ to 70′. The opponent reduced in 92′.

They take advantage of their home in the last games, a development that took them out of the hot zone, however the defensive weaknesses are more noticeable than ever.

It will be a difficult match against Botafogo and Palmeiras know that.

Coritiba vs Criciuma – Brasil Serie A

Coritiba vs Criciuma – Brasil Serie A

Coritiba news:

Midfielder Elder scored one of the best goals in the league in 46′ and gave the victory over Atletico Paranaense. Without being better, they celebrated a great result in a match in which they were more time in danger rather than they threatened.

Huge scoring and psychological boost for Marquinhos Santos’s team , which won after three consecutive defeats, but remain in the last position.

Criciuma news:

In one of the year’s best performances, they managed to celebrate a very valuable victory. Preceded in 6′, got drawn in 13′ by Atletico Mineiro, but regained the lead in 19′. The final 3-1 was enrolled in 61′, in a match in which the opponent has complaints from arbitration.

First win after four games and a deep scoring breath Gilmar Dal Pozzo’s team, in the battle to avoid relegation.

Italy Serie A – Milan vs Chievo

Milan news:

What we all suspect that will happen after the first two wins of the ‘Rossoneri’ over Lazio and Parma made its appearance. The ‘Rossoneri’ are landing slowly in the harsh reality. After the draw 2-2 in Empoli, they also remained in draw 1-1 in Cesena, score that was formed from the 19′, with their defense presenting a very bad image again. In 73′ they were left with a player less due to Zapata’s sent-off.

Silvio Berlusconi was present in the last training before tonight’s game against Chievo”.

Menez was trained normally, but I have not come yet if whether to use him or not and for how many minutes. We want the help of our funs to get back to winning ways. We will not underestimate Chievo, which should not be forgotten that defeated in Naples. Having seven strikers in the roster, it is logical that my team starts the match with four. But we must have patience” Filippo Inzaghi said.

Chievo news:

They failed to get the win in the third game of the year in “Bentegkonti’ staying in 1-1 against Empoli. They scored by Metzorini in 50′, but got drawn nine minutes later. They could even be beaten in the finale. With the sole exception of the away win in “San Paulo” over Napoli Eugenio Corrine’s team moves this year in shallow water, consequence of the many changes in the roster this summer.

“We have shown that we are capable of creating problems against great teams and we want to achieve that against AC Milan too. I believe we can do that” said Chievo’s coach.

Italy Serie A – Verona vs Cagliari

Verona news:

Verona were limited to passive a role at “Olimpico” against Roma having only one good chance in the first half. They kept zero until 75′, then the opponent had a shoot at the post while the final score was formed in 87′. Andrea Mandorlini admitted the superiority of ‘ giallorossi ‘ saying that the latter along with Juventus are on another level.

“We want to get back to winning results. I want more goals from Tony, who is a very good striker. I watched Cagliari against Inter and I can say that I was impressed. Zeman’s teams always know how to attack. For me, Zeman is a conductor” said Verona’s coach.

Cagliari news:

Questions about whether Zdenek Zeman can do the job or not, were answered with a deafening way at Milan. The skilled coach led the Sardinians to the triumphant 4-1 against Inter Milan, score that was formed from the first half. In 43′ Cossu lost a penalty too.

“The victory over Inter has given psychology to us and will help us for the difficult continuity, however I did not like the way we played in the second half. Verona is a good team that has started the season well. I appreciate Tachtsidis and if he does not play, it will be an important absence for them” said Cagliari’s coach.

Europa league predictions

UEFA Europa League – Rijeka vs Sevilla

Rijeka news:

They traveled to Liege in the premiere of the groups towards a positive result and seemed perfectly capable to leave from Belgium with the draw. In the last quarter they had no power left and conceded two goals. However, they proved that they are, under no circumstances, not going to be a “punching bag” in the group.

The defeat left it’s… scars to the psychology of the team, as four days later, they were defeated at the derby against Dinamo, which was their first defeat at “Kantrida” since May of 2013!

The intervening week has been positive for the team of Matjaz Kek, which “healed” their wounds and within 46 minutes they grabbed the win against Zagreb, improving their psychology for the second round of Europa League.

Croatians will make their home premiere tonight in the groups for this year and it will be hard not to see a sold out at “Kantrida”. They have nine unbeatable consecutive matches in the European competitions (6 wins – 3 draws), while at the last year’s corresponding group stage they had given three draws as hosts. In fact, the opponents from Spain and especially from Seville, as the previous season they had faced Real Betis and got a goalless draw in the Iberian, while draw was also confirmed in Rijeka’s match.

Brazilian midfielder Moises was hurt in the championship match (11/5 in all competitions) and his participation will be judged just before the game.

Sevilla news:

They had an abnormal landing on Saturday at “Calderon”. Atletico imposed on them with the emphatic 4-0 while at the same time they were “demolished” from the top of the Spanish league. A proof of superiority for the champions, although the extent of the score is excessive. Having passive attitude at the start Sevilla went with a two goals handicap at halftime and finished the match with two easy goals in the last 10 minutes.

“Atletico showed that they are better” coach Unai Emery admitted while his team was coming from five consecutive wins in Spain and Europe. In the group’s premiere they achieved an easy 2-0 (8′, 31′) against Feyenoord at “Sanchez Pizjuan”.

The Basque coach has not opened his cards, but it is assumed that he intends to refresh the lineup in tonight’s match. Barbosa (goalkeeper), Gameiro (striker) and long-term absentee Cristoforo (midfielder) are again in the injury list. On Sunday, in the league they play at home against Deportivo La Coruna.

“There is nothing wrong doing a bad game. We respect Rijeka, we have experienced the Europa League firsthand and we know the difficulties. There are teams that face you by giving the maximum of their power. It is a difficult match, at which Rijeka has only three defeats in the last 25 games” the Basque coach said in yesterday’s press conference.

In last year’s attempt to win the Cup they had an away record of five wins, two draws and two defeats. In the group they remained unbeaten, while all their three away matches confirmed the reasonable goal range “2-3”.

Europa league predictions

Europa League Predictions – Tottenham vs Besiktas

Europa League PredictionsTottenham news: When we try to find the best europa league predictions, we have to take under consideration that Mauricio Pochettino has nearly 22 players ready to           join the eleven when needed. Although the continuous rotation of the players has not helped them to find their rhythm. At London’s derby against Arsenal, they played very carefully.       They gave the ball to the opponent and tried to score with counterattacks. They took the lead after an opponent’s mistake in midfield (56′), but conceded a goal in 74′.

In the premiere of the Europa League, they remained scoreless against Partizan. This result was against the expected UEFA Europa League predictions, in a match that they had a shoot at the post. Generally they were not convincing. Pochettino made several changes at the match in Serbia. All those who played are considered for the start lineup. The same is expected to be done today.

Midfielder Chadli left the field due to an injury but he was put at the disposal of his coach. Rose (main left back) and Capoue (main defensive midfielder) are injured too and they will be checked. Walker remains out again.

This is a critical game for Tottenham because it can lead them to next round. 

These are the most difficult europa league predictions.

      Europa League Predictions : Tottenham – Besiktas   1

Europa League PredictionsBesiktas news: They were left behind early in the group with the draw 1-1 against Asteras Tripolis on “Olimpiyat Ataturk”. This match took place in rain. They lost the               volatile victory by conceding a goal in 88′. Until then, they were better than their opponents. In the last 15 minutes they underestimated the Arcadians, believing that the match             was over. Finally, they paid that.

In domestic SuperLig, Slaven Bilic’s team remains unbeaten after four games. The defense, which is critical for Europa League games today, made too many mistakes. In 28′ a goal was wrongly canceled as offside against them, a goal which they finally conceded in 72′. 

“We didn’t deserved to win, we played a mediocre match. These things happen” the Croatian coach admitted. 

Stopper Gulum recovered who stayed on the bench on Saturday. The only absent is the injured winger Pektemek. We should be aware of Besiktas’s absenses when trying to find the most accurate Europa League predictions.

        More Europa League


Arsenal vs Galatasaray – UEFA Champions League

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Arsenal news:

In a critical period for Arsenal football club, Arsene Wenger is called to find solutions instantly. At the time when one key player gets injured after the other, Arsenal has been left six points back from the top in Premier League. They have started with defeat in the Champions League. On Saturday, in London’s derby against Tottenham Hotspur, they showed problems in creating chances. They were left back in the score due to mistakes in defense. During the last half hour they were running to fix all the problems. They equalized by Chamberlain (74′) and they have another big derby in front of them, the one against Chelsea (away).

They were unready in the premiere of Champions League. They easily lost 2-0 to Borussia Dortmund (which is fair enough) and as Wenger said, today’s match is very crucial. The French coach, tonight completes 18 years on Arsenal’s bench (took over in 1st October 1996). What interests him today is simply to win: “The only thing I’m thinking right now is the game against the turkish team. Clearly it is a great honor to be 18 years on the bench of this club, but there is no time for flashbacks. Maybe this will be done some time in the future. Now all i care about is to defeat Galatasaray.

“As for the many injuries that arose, he called it “inexplicable phenomenon”. He stated that he has confidence in his team: “The most important in Champions League is to do three home wins. You also have to try and get some points away. So today’s match is very important. I have confidence in my team and I believe that we will succeed.”

They face new injures from the match against Tottenham. Most important of them are these of midfielders Ramsey and Arteta, who will be absent for Arsenal. Basic player, Wilshere, is also injured but he’ll possibly be prevented from the game. Diaby’s participation, who comes from a serious injury and recovers slowly, will not be risked. Other known problems are long time absences of: Debuchy (right back), Giroud (striker), Monreal (left back), Walcott (winger), Gnabry (winger) and Sanogo (striker).

In the plans of the starting lineup, a lot will depend on the presence of Wilshere. If he succeeds to play, he is expected to take a position in midfield along with Flamini. If not, Wenger will give the role of the second defensive midfielder to Cazorla. Otherwise, he will bring Chambers in Arsenal’s midfield. In this case Bellerin will play right back, as in the match against Dortmund.

Galatasaray news:

They got an extreme point playing at home against Anderlecht in the premiere of Champions League (1-1), equalizing in 91′ by Burak Yilmaz. They were minimally threatening, chasing the score from the 52′. They succeeded because of the home funs and the pressure they put, sometimes even unorthodox.

For the SuperLig, they came back to victories, after two games in the league. They took a difficult victory against Sivasspor on Friday at “Turk Telekom Arena”. Despite the quick goals by Chedjou and Burak Yılmaz, they got nervous after deduction of score. They lost possession and were threatened to be equalized in the end. Once again Cesare Prandelli shuffled the deck. The Italian changed the scheme and the players constantly. In the last match he planned a 4-3-2-1 with three midfielders and Adin often coming as a second striker. During the game he changed to 3-5-2, a scheme that Roberto Mancini insisted last year (and was fired by the end of the season!).

In six official games till now, Prandelli has never retained the same team. “We face a quality and experienced team. We will try to play our game and withstand the pressure. Arsenal has many injuries, but we will not change our philosophy. There is no reason. Concentration and patience is needed” said Prandelli. He is the only one of the 32 coaches in Champions League groups who does not know English (he only speaks Italian).

Didier Drogba visited the team’s hotel, as a player of Galatasaray until last year, sat for some time, chatting mostly with Sneijder and Burak Yilmaz.

Galatasaray is complete and will play with a 3-5-2 scheme in London tonight. Sneijder can play ahead of the four of the midfield, in a free role. The Brazilian midfielder, Felipe Melo, will be in a role as a libero which is another tactic used by Mancini last year but did not work. Galatasaray‘s left back Telles becomes midfielder. Speedy winger, Adin, fights for the position as a partner of Burak Yilmaz, in front of the Skopjan newcomer Pandev.

History :  Arsenal vs Galatasaray : The two teams have never met before.


UEFA Champions League – Bayer Leverkusen vs Benfica

Bayer Leverkusen news:

Even today if you ask any Leverkusen’s player how they lost to Monaco at the premiere, he will not be able to explain it. What can he say about that? That they lost … the sure goals and also Monaco scored in the one and only chance created?

This is certainly the true and the phenomenon of the difficulty in scoring has spread to the “aspirin.” Playing with ten players for most of the game against Freiburg, they created plenty of classic chances, but were left in a goalless draw (had two attempts at the post), unable to continue after the victory over Augsburg in the intercalary matchday in Bundesliga. The impressive start of the season had not continuity for Roger’s Schmidt players, since they have just one win in their four most recent games in the Bundesliga and in the last five officially. However, if we say that they do not play nice football it will be a lie. Just they lack effectiveness.

“The fact that last year Benfica reached the final of the Europa League is not by chance. Benfica have several players from South America who know well how to win the ball and deal with such games. We must begin to win and this has to be done instantly. The group has just six games and we have already lost one. Now we need to get the victory. Key in the match will be the way in which we will defend in the counterattacks of our opponents” these were the words of Roger Schmidt at the press conference.

Key midfielders Rolfes (captain) and Castro remain unavailable for the match. Thus the solutions in midfield are limited. Along with the above, K.Papadopoulos (Stopper) and Brandt (useful attacking midfielder) will be out. Boenisch is facing minor injury problem (basic left back), Schmidt will wait for him until the beginning of the match.

Benfica news:

The start of the “Eagles” in the competition was very poor as after a moderate appearance, they lost at home against Zenit (2-0). Just in the 5′ Hulk who was found himself towards Artur, lost no time and opened the scoring for the Russian team while in the 18′ Benfica were left with ten players when Artur overthrew Danny. The Russians two minutes later won a corner from which Witsel who was found in an advantageous position easily scored the second goal (2-0). In the rest of the match, the “mountain” that Benfica had to climb was beyond their capabilities.

Despite all these, in the league they continued winning as last Saturday won Estoril 3-2. They started with two goals by Talisca in 3′ and in 8′, and then they relaxed until the 53′ when the score turn to a draw 2-2. The victory was given by Lima in the 70′.

Digging in the statements in terms of Benfica, the most interesting one is probably the Brazilian’s midfielder Derley, who said that although the aim is to win, draw will also be important. Jesus beyond the many that he said, he did his estimates for the group saying “for us it will be a success to qualify from the group. In football anything can happen, so we can dream without anyone to have the right to steal our dreams. The fact is that there are 4-5 strong teams that usually reach the semifinals and the final. There is also an outsider, such as Atletico Madrid last year. This is what we have in mind.”

About the game said: “a second defeat will make the situation quite complicated for us. We played against Leverkusen a few years ago and since then, they still have 6-7 players, but they have a different coach who brought new ideas, as a result they play good games in Bundesliga. It will be a tough match and we should do our best to get the win. We have the quality to do it.”

The only change from the previous match again Estoril has to do at the position of the goalkeeper, where Artur is suspended for the current match. His place was taken by Julio Cesar who was also injured in the right leg, but Jesus took three goalkeepers for this match since the international goalkeeper is not 100% ready. From there onwards, the seriously injured Amorim (midfielder, 2/0), Jara (striker, 2 app.), Fejsa (midfielder, without app.), Silvio (defender, without app.) and Sulejmani (striker, without app.) remain unavailable. Nelson Oliveira, Miguel Santos, Loris Benito, Pizzi and Bebe were left out for the match against Leverkusen because they had no appearances in the championship.

History :  Bayer Leverkusen vs Benfica : The two teams have met twice before.

Europa League 21/02/2013:  Benfica vs Bayer Leverkusen      2-1

Europa League 14/02/2013:  Bayer Leverkusen vs Benfica      0-1