Sports Mole previews Thursday’s Europa League clash between Ferencvaros and Trabzonspor, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Trabzonspor get their Europa League campaign underway on Thursday when they take a trip to the Groupama Arena to lock horns with Ferencvaros.
Both sides have been drawn into Group H of the competition, alongside Serbian champions Red Star Belgrade and French Ligue 1 outfit AS Monaco.
Ferencvaros maintained their perfect record in the 2022-23 Hungarian top-flight campaign as they steamrolled Ujpest 6-0 when the sides squared off at the Ferenc Szusza Stadium on Sunday.
The hosts found themselves four goals down heading into half time courtesy of strikes from Kristoffer Zachariassen, Adama Malouda Traore and a brace from Franck Boli before Carlos Auzqui and Ryan Mmaee scored second-half goals to cap off a fine team outing.
Stanislav Cherchesov‘s side have now won each of their opening five games of the new NB I campaign, scoring an impressive 15 goals and conceding only once to sit top of the standings with a one-point cushion over second-placed Kisvarda FC.
Ferencvaros now turn their attention to the Europa League, where they secured their place in the group stages of the competition courtesy of a 4-1 aggregate victory over Shamrock Rovers in the qualifying playoff round back in August.
After crashing out of the Champions League qualifiers against Qarabag, the Hungarian outfit secured a 4-0 first-leg victory over the Irish side in front of their home fans on August 18, before traveling to the Tallaght Stadium where they were beaten 1-0 eight days later.
Ferencvaros head into Thursday’s group opener on a run of three consecutive victories on home turf, scoring 11 goals and keeping two clean sheets since a 3-1 loss to Qarabag on August 9.
Trabzonspor, on the other hand, returned to winning ways last time out when they saw off newly-promoted Umraniyespor when the sides squared off at the Recep Tayyip Erdogan Stadium.
Former Aston Villa forward Mahmoud Trezeguet came up clutch for the visitors as he netted the only goal of the game on the hour mark to deny the newcomers their first win of the new Turkish Super Lig campaign.
Abdullah Avci‘s men were previously on a four-game winless streak in all competitions, claiming two draws and losing two since a 1-0 victory over Hatayspor at the Medical Park Stadyumu on August 12.
Trabzonspor secured an automatic place in the group stages of the Europa League after failing in their bid for a Champions League spot as they fell to a 2-1 aggregate defeat against Copenhagen in the UCL qualifying playoffs back in August.
Ferencvaros form (all competitions):
Trabzonspor form (all competitions):
Ferencvaros will take to the pitch without the defensive duo of Lorand Paszka and Rasmus Thelanderwho are currently recovering from injuries.
Endre Botka adds to the Hungarian outfit’s defensive crisis after the 28-year-old missed the trip to Ujpest due to an injury that saw him come off at half time against Vasas on August 31.
With his strike at the weekend, Traore has eight goals in his last seven games across all competitions and the 27-year-old winger will certainly be one to keep an eye out for.
He should be joined in the Ferencvaros attack by versatile forward Zachariassen and Ivory Coast centre-forward Boli, who netted five goals in 19 league appearances last season.
Meanwhile, Trabzonspor will be without several key players down the spine of the team as the likes of Huseyin Turkmen (muscle), Bruno Perez (Achilles tendon) and Serkan Asan (meniscus) all continue their spells on the sidelines.
Bosnian midfielder Edin Visca is set to sit out his sixth consecutive game after suffering a fractured arm in August, while full-back Dorukhan Tokoz suffered a game-ending injury against Umraniyespor last time out.
In the absence of Tokoz, Jens Stryger Larsen should fill the vacant right-back position, teaming up with Marc Bartra, Stefano Denswil and former Kasimpasa man Eren Elmali in the back four.
Ferencvaros possible starting lineup:
Dibusz; Civic, Kovacevic, Mmaee, Wingo; Laidouni, Vecsei, Mercier; Traore, Zechariassen, Boli
Trabzonspor possible starting lineup:
Muhammed Taha; Elmali, Denswil, Bartra, Larsen; Gbamin, Trezeguet, Bardhi, Bakasetas, Omur; Djaniny
We say: Ferencvaros 2-1 Trabzonspor
Ferencvaros and Trabzonspor head into the opening-day clash evenly-matched on paper and we expect a cagey affair at the Groupama Arena. However, Ferencvaros have been impressive in front of their home fans of late and we are backing them to make use of this advance once again to grind out a slender victory.
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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