Europa League Betting Tips

Barcelona vs Galatasaray betting tips: Europa League preview, predictions and odds

Barcelona have not lost any of nine UEFA Cup/Europa League home games this century. The Blaugrana have also won six of seven home matches against Turkish clubs, losing none. Galatasaray have only ever won one of 16 matches in Spain, beating Mallorca 4-1 in 2000.

Barcelona to win and over 2.5 goals is 1/2.

Barcelona to win and both teams to score NO is 5/6.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored 19 goals in his last 32 Europa League appearances. He is 12/5 to break the deadlock, 1/2 to score anytime and 2/1 to score two or more.

Match preview

Will Barcelona stay on track to win the UEFA Cup/ Europa League for the very first time?

Of course, this isn't the competition Barça want to be in, dropping down after finishing third in their Champions League group, below Bayern and Benfica.

But, back in the second-tier competition for the first time in 18 years, Xavi's side are very much in it to win it.

In the first knockout round, Barça faced Napoli and, after a nervy 1-1 draw at home, blew I Partenopei away, winning 4-2 in Southern Italy.

Jordi Alba, Frenkie de Jong, Gerard Piqué and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang all on target at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.

Domestically too, the Blaugrana's form has massively improved in recent weeks.

Sunday's 2-1 victory at Elche means Barcelona have now won three in-a-row in La Liga and are unbeaten in 11 overall, dating back to 4 January.

This saw them move up to third last weekend, still a humungous 15 points behind the league-leaders.

Thus, the Europa League is their only chance of ending the season with some silverware, so will the Catalan club build up a healthy first leg lead?

Galatasaray's greatest achievement in Europe remains winning the UEFA Cup and subsequent Super Cup in 2000, beating Arsenal and then Real Madrid.

In more recent times, Gala's only quarter-final appearance in the last two decades came in the Champions League in 2013, this time losing to Real.

This season, they began in the Champions League second qualifying round but were demolished 7-2 by PSV Eindhoven, the club's biggest-ever aggregate defeat.

Nevertheless, they recovered and, narrowly, won qualifiers against Scottish Cup winners St Johnstone and Danish Cup winners Randers.

Once in the Europa League group stages, Gala impressed, topping Group E unbeaten, above Lazio, Olympique de Marseille and Lokomotiv Moskva.

This all means Galatasaray are unbeaten in ten European matches, their longest such run for 13 years.

However, domestically, things are not going well, which is why Fatih Terim was sacked by the club for the fourth time in mid-January.

Former Barça assistant coach Domènec Torrent is now in charge but Gala are still down in 12th in the Süper Lig, losing 2-0 at Konyaspor on Saturday.

Thus, despite Galatasaray's impressive group stage campaign, Barcelona should ease to victory at Camp Nou.

Barcelona team news

After picking up a booking in Naples, Gavi is suspended, while Gerard Piqué would miss the trip to İstanbul if booked here.

Also, Dani Alves cannot play in this competition as only three January arrivals can be added to a UEFA squad.

This means Sergiño Dest will come in for the 38 year old at right-back.

Elsewhere, without Gavi, Frenkie de Jong will join Pedri and Sergio Busquets as the midfield trio.

In attack, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has hit the ground running in Catalonia, scoring five goals in seven appearances already.

Adama Traoré and Ousmane Dembélé could complete the front three with Ferran Torres or Memphis, who's fit again, the alternatives.

Galatasaray team news

Galatasaray do not have any suspension but Fernando Muslera and midfielder Olimpiu Moruţan must tread carefully.

Former Barcelona midfielder Arda Turn will not be returning to Camp Nou as he's injured.

Instead, the front three will be Kerem Aktürkoğlu, Emre Kılınç and Bafétimbi Gomis, the latter has scored three in four since returning in January.

In defence, two summer signings, Sacha Boey and Patrick van Aanholt, are the first-choice full-backs.

Fernando Muslera, who's made 412 appearances for Gala, could return in goal in place of La Masia graduate Iñaki Peña.

La Liga table:

Süper Lig table:

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Ben Gray

Ben Gray

Arsenal fan – follow them over land and sea (and Leicester); sofa Celtic supporter; a bit of a football '"encyclopedia".

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