Preview: Fenerbahce vs. Royal Antwerp

Preview: Fenerbahce vs. Royal Antwerp

Both Fenerbahce and Royal Antwerp will be looking for the first victory of their respective Europa League campaigns on Thursday when they play at the Sukru Saracoglu Stadium.

The hosts have picked up a single point in Group D and a victory has the potential to take them into second place, while the visitors head into this fixture having lost both of the opening matches.

Fenerbahce are currently in third place within the Super Lig after a strong start to the domestic season, having only been defeated twice in the opening nine matches.

However, their most recent outing saw them suffer one of those losses as they played Trabzonspor in a game that finished 3-1, even though they took the lead in the 3rd minute via Diego Rossi.

Within the Europa League, the team have managed to pick up just one point so far, which came during the opening fixture of Group D when they faced Eintracht Frankfurt.

The two clubs drew 1-1 with former Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil giving Fenerbahce the lead in the 10th minute before Sam Lammers was able to score an equaliser before half time.

However, the Turkish club were not quite as impressive during their most recent outing in the competition, suffering a 3-0 loss in what was their first home game in Group D.

The visitors on Thursday will be hoping to follow on from what Olympiacos were able to achieve that night, but so far Royal Antwerp have failed to win a match in the competition.

Brian Priske’s team were beaten 2-1 on the opening game week by the Greek side, with an 87th-minute goal from Oleg Reabciuk securing the three points for the current table-toppers.

They then followed that up with another loss against Frankfurt in their most recent Europa League performance, and once again it was late heartbreak for Antwerp as they conceded in the 91st minute.

However, the squad will take confidence from the fact that they qualified from their group last season despite losing two games, but this will be a crucial fixture if they want to stop the other teams from advancing too far ahead of them.

Fenerbahce Europa League form:
Fenerbahce form (all competitions):
Royal Antwerp Europa League form:
Royal Antwerp form (all competitions):

We say: Fenerbahce 2-1 Royal Antwerp
Both teams need to secure three points in this fixture to keep the pressure on the two clubs above, which should lead to a closely-contested European tie.

However, with the home advantage on their side, Fenerbahce should have enough confidence to express themselves and create more chances against a squad that is known for conceding late goals.

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