High-flying Istanbul Basaksehir welcome an out-of-sorts Fiorentina outfit to the Basaksehir Fatih Terim Stadium for their Europa Conference League Group A fixture on Thursday.
The hosts secured their biggest ever European victory in their opening group game last week, while the visitors were forced to settle for a score draw.
Istanbul Basaksehir have put together an impressive 20-game unbeaten run across all competitions, dating back to March last season, and they have won each of their last five matches this term.
Emre Belozoglu’s men secured a comfortable 4-0 away victory over Hearts in their opening Europa Conference League game last week, with Hasan Ali Kaldirim, Youssouf Ndayishimiye, Stefano Okaka and Berkay Ozcan all on the scoresheet in Edinburgh.
The Grey Owls have since claimed a slender 1-0 Super Lig victory away at city rivals Besiktas, with a strike from Bertrand Traore helping them move to within one point of league leaders Konyaspor with a game in hand.
Spirits are high within the Basaksehir camp and they will be keen to claim another three points against Fiorentina as they bid to qualify for the knockout rounds in European competition for only the second time in their history.
Basaksehir have only faced Italian opposition twice before in Europe, but they were beaten 3-0 at home and 4-0 away against Roma in the 2019-20 Europa League group stage.
In stark contrast, Fiorentina have endured a frustrating start to the new campaign and have failed to win any of their last seven games across all competitions.
La Viola played out a 1-1 draw at home to Latvian minnows Rigas Futbola Skola in their opening Europa Conference League group game last week, with Antonin Barak’s opener midway through the second half cancelled out by a strike from Andrej Ilic in the 74th minute.
Since then, Fiorentina suffered a 2-1 Serie A defeat away against Bologna last weekend. All three goals were scored within eight second-half minutes, with the hosts coming from behind to secure maximum points courtesy of strikes from Musa Barrow and Marko Arnautovic.
La Viola have now failed to win any of their last eight competitive away matches and head coach Vincenzo Italiano is under pressure to turn the club’s fortunes around.
Competing in European competition for the first time in six years, Fiorentina have won all six of their previous meetings against Turkish opposition, conceding just one goal in the process, which bodes well for the Italian outfit heading into Thursday’s contest.
Istanbul Basaksehir Europa Conference League form:
Istanbul Basaksehir form (all competitions):
Fiorentina Europa Conference League form:
Fiorentina form (all competitions):
We say: Istanbul Basaksehir 2-1 Fiorentina
The two teams head into this encounter in contrasting form, with Istanbul Basaksehir going from strength to strength so far this season.
Fiorentina will be fired up to put an end to their winless streak, but we can see the hosts coming away with a slender win in Istanbul.