Turkish giants Galatasaray welcome Danish outfit Randers to the Recep Tayyip Erdogan Stadium on Thursday night for the second leg of their Europa League playoff.
This encounter in Istanbul is nicely poised after both sides played out a 1-1 draw in the first leg last week.
After failing to qualify for a European competition for the first time in four years last season, Galatasaray will be keen to put things right this campaign and claim a victory in front of their home supporters in midweek.
The Yellow-Reds were big favourites to win the first leg, but were surprised by a Randers side who, despite having slightly less possession, created more clear-cut opportunities to score.
Mostafa Mohamed scored the opening goal in the 26th minute to put the Turkish side in front before Frederik Lauenborg equalised for the hosts early in the second half.
Fatih Terim will not be too disappointed with the result, as he will be confident that his side can get the job done on Thursday, as they did in the previous round against St Johnstone.
Galatasaray head into the second leg after securing a narrow 2-1 league victory against Hatayspor on Monday, with Christian Luyindama scoring an 88th-minute winner to help maintain their 100% start in the Turkish Super Lig.
As for Randers, they head into Thursday’s game after drawing 1-1 at home against Aalborg last weekend.
The Hestene were trailing after a Milan Markavic strike in the 19th minute, however they were able to equalise just five minutes later thanks to a converted penalty kick from Vito Hammershoy-Mistrati.
That result means Thomas Thomasberg’s side remain unbeaten in their seven games across all competitions so far this season.
Randers have never qualified the group stages of any major European competition and although they head into the second leg as the underdogs, they will fancy their chances of causing an upset in Istanbul.
Galatasaray Europa League form:
Galatasaray form (all competitions):
Randers Europa League form:
Randers form (all competitions):
We say: Galatasaray 2-1 Randers (Galatasaray win 3-2 on aggregate)
Randers were able to claim a positive result from the first leg, which has given them hope for Thursday’s reverse fixture, and they could cause the hosts a few problems once again.
However, Galatasaray’s strength in depth should help them to secure a narrow victory on home soil, sending them into the Europe League group stage.