Feyenoord Rotterdam vs. Fenerbahce / Europa League – This is also a match of the last, sixth round of group phase that directly decides who goes to the round of 16 of Europa League, given that Feyenoord currently has three points fewer than leading Fenerbahce, while in between two teams is positioned Manchester United, which has two points more than the Dutch and a fairly easy job in the last round against already written off Ukrainian Zorya. Let’s add that first match between Fenerbahce and Feyenoord in Istanbul ended with victory of the home team 1-0. Begins: 08.12.2016 – 19:00 CET
Right because of that defeat in Istanbul Feyenoord currently has three points fewer than Fener, although in case it wins Fener in Rotterdam by the same result the Turkish team would be better positioned give its better overall goal-difference. There is one more option here in which second-positioned Manchester United loses to Zorya away and then Feyenoord needs a minimal victory over Fener to pass in the next phase, while if the United draws in Ukraine than Feyenoord would be in more difficult situation as it then need to win the Turks by two points difference.
All in all, the home team has imperative to win, probably by at least two-goal difference, which is why their coach van Bronckhorst has announced total offensive from the first minute, especially as they scored even 12 goals in last three championship matches. In that period Feyenoord defeated at home Zwolle 3-0 and city rival Sparta by even 6-1, and drew away with Utrecth 1-1, so now they share the first place in the standings with Ajax due to having the same number of points like they. Let’s add that due to injuries this match will skip goalkeeper Vermeer and defenders Kongolo and van Beek.
Probable lineups Feyenoord Rotterdam: Jones – Karsdorp, van der Heijden, Botteghin, Nelom – El Ahmadi, Vilhena – Toornstra, Kuyt, Elia – Jorgensen
We have said in the introduction that Fenerbahce is in much better situation than Feyenoord ahead of this match, given that even a defeat by one goal difference suits them, so it is quite realistic to expect that coach Advocaat will opt for a more defensive variant than it is usual. Last weekend Fenerbache played a very difficult match in Turkish championship against city rival and reigning champions Beskitas, and interestingly the match ended goalless.
Right because of that we believe that Advocaat will set a similar tactic now against Feyenoord, and will limit his team in attack on counter-attack, mostly through fleet-footed Sen and Sow. Besides from the two players, Fener fans expect a lot from experienced forward van Persie as he is familiar with Dutch football style, just like his coach Advocaat. Only two Fenerbahce players are out of action and they are not even in the team, midfielder Chahechouh and forward Fernando.
Probable lineups Fenerbahce: Demirel – Ozbayrakli, Kjaer, Skrtel, Kaldirim – Topal, Souza – Sen, Potuk, Sow – van Persie
Feyenoord Rotterdam – Fenerbahce PICK
Under assumption that Manchester United will routinely defeat Zorya, it is clear then that only triumphs by two goal difference will take Feyenoord to the knockout phase of the Europa League, which is why we decided to give them advantage in this match.
Pick: Feyenoord wins
Odds: 2.25 at sportingbet (down to 2.10 can be played)