Galatasaray v Adana Demirspor
Galatasaray are in the rather snug position of sitting top of the Turkish Super Lig and having a six-point gap over their closest challengers and big rivals Fenerbahce. They do however head into this top-four battle against Adana Demirspor on the back of a rare setback, with Konyaspor inflicting only a third league loss of the campaign. They will therefore be keen to bounce back, but that is easier said than done over a side only a few places behind them in the table, albeit some 15 points behind as well.
It was a season to forget for 22-times champions last season when only managing to achieve a 13th place finish. Those days have quickly been forgotten about however as they look well on course to earn their first league triumph since 2020/21. In addition to this weekend, they do still have to play the other teams inside the top four; Fenerbahce and Besiktas, and not dropping points in these type of games could be the key to reclaiming their crown. Prior to that Konyaspor setback, Galatasaray were on a whopping 17-match winning streak, so we can’t quite say the wheels have fallen off just yet!
Former Roma great Vincenzo Montella is the man tasked with leads the Adana Demirspor charge these days and has been at the helm since September 2021. He guided them to a 9th place finish last season, and now he has firmly set his sights on reaching European football next season, most likely in the form of the Europa Conference League, which is achieved for finishing either second or third. They’ve not been at the incredibly winning level of their weekend opponents have been, but a run of just two defeats in ten is still pretty good going.
One problem area for them however comes when taking on the shining lights of Turkish football. In their meetings with current top-eight teams this season, their record reads one win, four draws and four defeats. Whilst one of those was a 0-0 stalemate with Galatasaray earlier in the campaign, the fact of the matter is they are just much more at home against the lesser teams. Flip that with Galatasaray, who have already been Fenerbahce and Besiktas, as well as Trabzonspor and Basaksehir, who are positioned 5th and 6th respectively.
This is a game the hosts will fancy their chances in, but the visitors will still have a go, which should make for an open game. Galatasaray Win and Over 2.5 Goals is priced 17/20 with Sporting Index and looks a worthy wager. Ten of their 12 home matches has beaten this number, whilst Adana Demirspor have only failed to score in three league fixtures all season.
Sporting CP v Santa Clara
Whilst Sporting CP haven’t had the season they’d have liked from a domestic perspective, the fact they remain in the UEFA Europa League means there is still life in their campaign. Not only do they sit a huge 18 points being runaway league leaders Benfica, but a six-point gap to Braga in third still has to be a priority for them if they’re to reach the UEFA Champions League qualification stages. They are at least comfortable in 4th, but wins in matches like that are a must until the end of the season.
As mentioned, Sporting remain in Europe thanks to their penalty shootout win over Arsenal recently. This helped set up a two-legged quarter final affairs with Juventus, and they’ll be eager to win their three league fixtures leading up to the first leg in Turin in a few weeks’ time. Winning their last four in league action has probably helped them with their European exploits as well, and Head Coach Rúben Amorim has seemingly found the perfectly blend to get the best out of his squad in recent times. They’ll expect a routine victory here over bottom side Santa Clara, even more so knowing they’ve only dropped points in two league clashes at home all season.
It was a very positive campaign for Santa Clara last season when earning a 7th place finish, only narrowly missing out on a place in Europe. Their best-ever league finish however is very much a thing of the past as they know face a real battle to maintain their Primeira Liga status. It would appear the best they can hope for now is a third-from-bottom finish, which would at least give them a shot of staying up in a relegation play-off. A lack of goals has been their problem, earning only 17 in league action so far.
For Santa Clara to pick up points this season they tend to look towards the lesser sides to achieve that. They’ve only managed to claim 15 points, and 12 of those came versus teams positioned 10th or below. They did earn a surprise home draw with Porto earlier in the campaign, whilst only narrowly going down to Sporting CP in their home meeting, too. Another big issue is a lack of ambition away from home, which is proven by the fact they’ve scored only four times on their travels across 12 games on the road.
Sporting CP are incredibly short odds to win here, but using the Bet365 bet builder I have managed to locate a more than plausible odds-against shout which really should be paying out. This is Sporting/Sporting HT/FT and Santa Clara 0 Goals, and it is available at 6/5. Santa Clara have failed to score in eight of 12 away matches this season, and that’s without even facing any of the current top four yet. Furthermore, 70% of Sporting’s home league victories came without conceding, and with them outscoring opponents 14-1 across home fixtures you’d like to think they can get off to a quick start here.
Galatasaray v Adama Demirspor – Galatasaray Win and Over 2.5 Goals (17/20 Sporting Index)
Sporting CP v Santa Clara – Sporting/Sporting HT/FT & Santa Clara 0 Goals (6/5 Bet365)