Basaksehir vs Hoffenheim – Thursday, November 2, 18:00 GMT/19:00 CET – Basaksehir Fatih Terim Stadium – Istanbul, Turkey.
The relieve could be felt throughout Germany after Hoffenheim managed a 3-1 victory over Basaksehir on matchday 3. The result leaves Hoffenheim within striking distance of one of the two top spots in Group C, which are currently occupied by Ludogorets Razgrad (7 points) and Braga (six points). Hoffenheim have collected three points thus far in the competition and with Ludogorets and Braga playing each other on matchday 4 Hoffenheim could close to the top significantly.
It would be excellent news for German football if at least one of the three Europa League teams could advance from the group stage after all three teams had a poor start to the European campaign. But to advance Hoffenheim have to do better than their Bundesliga matchday 10 performance against Borussia Mönchengladbach. Hoffenheim took the lead after a Kerem Demirbay goal in the first half but then gave the game away with Gladbach scoring three unanswered goals in the second half.
The result means that Hoffenheim have only won once in the last seven matches showing signs that the club may not have a deep enough squad to compete on all fronts. The lack of depth is further exasperated by the fact that several key players are currently out with injuries. Key players like Serge Gnabry, Mark Uth and Pavel Kaderabek will be missing the game on Thursday.
The many injuries have meant that Hoffenheim head coach Julian Nagelsmann had to experiment with his squad bloodying several talents in recent weeks. The return of Benjamin Hübner and Havard Nordtveit, however, will mean that Hoffenheim’s backline, which included the unproven Kevin Akpogumo and Stefan Posch against Gladbach, will be given some much-needed experience for the must-win game in Turkey. With the veterans back in the squad and with Hoffenheim looking to get out of their slump the German side will be looking to record points four to six on Thursday in Istanbul.
Basaksehir vs Hoffenheim – Players to Watch
Emre Belözuglu #5 – Başakşehir
Emre is the heart and soul of Başakşehir. The Turkish national team player joined the club in the summer of 2015 after an illustrious career with Inter, Newcastle United, Atlético Madrid and Fenerbahçe and was a big part of the reason why Başakşehir managed to reach the group stage of the Europa League. Initially, more of a number 10 the now 37-year-old has dropped deeper into a more deeper midfield role where he can control the tempo despite his advanced age.
Kerem Demirbay #10 – Hoffenheim
Kerem Demirbay is Hoffenheim’s transition player. Positioned between Hoffenheim’s back three and the two-man attacking midfield Demirbay is in charge of quickly moving the ball forward from defence to attack. A typical playmaker Nagelsmann often moves Demirbay further back when playing against stronger opponents like it will be the case against Bayern on Saturday. Sitting deep Demirbay can use his speed and vision to move balls forward during a counter-attack quickly. Nagelsmann is a firm believer in having his teams finish off attacking plays in less than ten seconds after gaining control of the ball from the opposition. This tactic is only possible thanks to midfielder Kerem Demirbay.
Basaksehir vs Hoffenheim – Match Stats
- Istanbul Başakşehir have won only one of their 13 UEFA fixtures – 2-0 at home to Club Brugge in this season’s UEFA Champions League third qualifying round.
- Başakşehir are without a victory in the UEFA Europa League; this is their tenth match in the competition.
- Hoffenheim have lost both of their European away games to date – 4-2 against Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League play-offs and 2-1 at Ludogorets on UEFA Europa League matchday 2.
- The journey from Sinsheim to Istanbul is around 1,800km.
- Both sides are in their maiden Europa League campaign.
Futbolgrad Network Prediction: Basaksehir vs Hoffenheim 1-3
Basaksehir vs Hoffenheim – Possible Starting Lineups
Babacan – Attamah, Clichy, Epureanu, Caiçara – Emre, Márcio Mossoro, Mahmut, Visca – Adebayor, Elia
Manager: Abdullah Avci
Baumann – Hübner, Nordtveit, Vogt – Geiger – Schulz, Amiri, Demirbay, Passlack – Kramarić, Wagner
Manager: Julian Nagelsmann
Manuel Veth is the owner and Editor in Chief of the Futbolgrad Network. He also works as a freelance journalist and social media editor at Bundesliga.com. He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in History from King’s College London, and his thesis is titled: “Selling the People’s Game: Football’s transition from Communism to Capitalism in the Soviet Union and its Successor States,” which will be available in print soon. Originally from Munich, Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently is located in Victoria BC, Canada. Follow Manuel on Twitter @ManuelVeth.