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Oct 21, 2021 at 5.45pm UK
AntwerpRoyal Antwerp
Valencia (21', 45' pen.)
Kadioglu (40'), Szalai (59'), Zajc (75')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Samatta (2'), Gerkens (62')
Fischer (44'), Priske (48'), De Laet (54'), Gerkens (81')

Preview: Fenerbahce vs. Royal Antwerp - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Fenerbahce vs. Royal Antwerp - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Thursday's Europa League clash between Fenerbahce and Royal Antwerp, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

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.

Match preview

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:
  • D
  • L

Fenerbahce form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L

Royal Antwerp Europa League form:
  • L
  • L

Royal Antwerp form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L

Team News

The hosts have been dealing with several injury problems recently and they will continue to be without Irfan Kahveci due to a hamstring issue.

However, the Yellow Canaries were able to welcome back Nazim Sangare, Jose Sosa and Marcel Tisserand at the weekend, who all made appearances from the bench as they returned from their respective injuries.

Vitor Pereira will also be able to use full-back Kim Min-jae, who will be suspended for their next Super Lig game after receiving a red card against Trabzonspor.

Antwerp can welcome back Jelle Bataille on Thursday after he served his suspension during their defeat against Olympiacos, which will boost the defensive options.

However, the club will continue to miss Samuel Vines due to a collarbone injury, while Sander Coopman is working his way back from a cruciate ligament rupture.

Fenerbahce possible starting lineup:
Bayindir; Min-jae, Szalai, Novak; Sosa, Gustavo, Crespo, Osayi-Samuel, Ozil; Rossi, Valencia

Royal Antwerp possible starting lineup:
Butez; Buta, Almeida, Dessoleil, De Laet; Yusuf, Verstraete; Benson, Fischer, Balikwisha; Frey

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.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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