ESRA – Eagles set to wrap up unfinished Europa business with Club Brugge

Eagles set to wrap up unfinished Europa business with Club BruggeBeIiktaI, also known as the Black Eagles, is hoping to turn the tables and overcome a 2-1 away loss to Club Brugge to survive in the Europa League as Slaven Bilicand#39s men entertain the Belgians in Istanbul on Thursday night.Tickets sold out days before the crucial encounter, with BeIiktaI gearing up for another historic moment in its rich history in front of its home crowd on Thursday, which also marks the 112th birthday of the Istanbul club.

More than 70,000 tickets have been bought for the game at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium despite the temporary home venue being unpopular with BeIiktaI fans.Scoring an away goal in the first leg offered the Black Eagles hope for its future in the prestigious competition.

But the Turkish Super League leader still has to win and hand Club Brugge its first loss to stay alive in the Europa League. A 1-0 victory would give Bilicand#39s side a ticket to the last 16, while a 2-1 victory would take the game to extra-time and potentially a decisive penalty shootout.

Any kind of draw would knock BeIiktaI out of the competition.Therefore, Bilic will need to come up with an offensively productive strategy to outscore Brugge.

His plans worked well in their last domestic league campaign against Kayseri Erciyesspor, which ended in a 5-1 victory for BeIiktaI. The Croatian coach might opt for two strikers, Demba Ba and Mustafa Pektemek, on Thursday.

Ba needs to deliver this time aroundSenegal star Ba will look to achieve what he couldnand#39t in Belgium and end his goal-scoring drought in Europe. Ba remains the most prolific player for BeIiktaI in the competition and has netted five goals plus two assists in seven games with the Turkish outfit.

With his fighting spirit and good character on and off the pitch, he is arguably the most beloved BeIiktaI player and he will continue trying to inspire his fans, who create special musical renditions for him that are viewed by millions online.Attacking midfielder Gkhan Tre was one of the most productive players in the first-leg clash in Belgium and brought his sideand#39s only goal.

The 23-year-old will be one of Bilicand#39s most important weapons against the Belgians. The German-born Turk is gaining more popularity with his contribution to BeIiktaIand#39s success story this season.

His club even felt the urge to make an announcement this week in an attempt to contain rumors of Treand#39s supposed move to an Italian club.To protect its goal, BeIiktaI will need on-form defensive midfielder Necip Uysal.

andquotWe didnand#39t lose hope when we lost to Liverpool away [in the round of 32 games]. In this match, too, our fans will fill the stadium Itand#39s very important for us they are a driving force for us,andquot Uysal told reporters this week about the Club Brugge match.

Either Pedro Franco or Ersan Gulum will join him in defense. Ghana defender Daniel Opare is expected to get right-wing duties to replace injury-prone Serdar KurtuluI after missing out on action last weekend in the domestic league due to a minor injury.

If Bilic chooses to go with two strikers, he might have to pick Canadaand#39s Atiba Hutchinson or Tolgay Arslan in midfield.UEFA Europa League last 16 second leg fixtures at a glanceD.

Kiev (Ukraine) vs. Everton (England) 1-2AS Roma (Italy) vs.

Fiorentina (Italy) 1-1D. Moscow (Russia) vs.

Napoli (Italy) 1-3Sevilla (Spain) vs. Villarreal (Spain) 3-1BeIiktaI vs.

Club Bruges (Belgium) 1-2Ajax (Netherlands) vs. Dnipro (Ukraine) 0-1Inter (Italy) vs.

Wolfsburg (Germany) 1-3Torino (Italy) vs. Zenit (Russia) 0-.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman