Hearts v Istanbul Basaksehir
Istanbul Basaksehir travel to Edinburgh to face Hearts in the Conference League seeking to make it four wins from four on the road in Europe this season. They have already won at Maccabi Netanya, Breidablik and Royal Antwerp, and they will feel that they will stand a good chance of success in Scotland’s capital.
Certainly, this is a fixture that has the capacity to be a pivotal one in the group. Win it, and the Turkish side should feel good about their prospects of progression, but slip up and suddenly everything becomes a little more complicated. In any case, they appear to be treating the Conference League seriously. The starting XI that won in Antwerp was almost identical to the one that overcame Alanyaspor 2-0 in the league on Saturday.
The only issue this week is that a trip to Besiktas follows on Sunday, which could prompt more significant rotation – or for Basaksehir to make earlier changes.
Meanwhile, Hearts are a side totally out of form and, apparently, out of luck. They have lost five of their last six fixtures in all competitions, although they did deserve much better in a 1-0 Europa League loss to FC Zurich a fortnight ago. Jorge Grant was sent off in that match and is suspended for this encounter, but more importantly they lost Liam Boyce to a long-term injury that will hit their offensive prospects hard.
The Jambos have failed to score in four of their last five, and against an Istanbul side that has conceded only two in their last seven, that does not bode at all well.
This is a big game for Hearts and one that could transform their season, but the odds on the visitors are simply too tempting.
Written by an Andy verified content writer
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