After a three-year hiatus from Europe’s premier club competition, Galatasaray are back in the big time and have what many would say a nice soft landing spot to get their campaign underway.

They welcome Danish champions FC Copenhagen to RAMS Park on Wednesday night and we preview the contest plus pick out a bet or two to give you something to think about…

Galatasaray vs Copenhagen Betting Tips

  • Back Mauro Icardi to score anytime @ 19/20
  • Back Galatasaray to win & BTTS @ 21/10

For those of us who grew up watching the Champions League back on ITV in the late 90s and late 2000s, you know that a trip to Turkey to play Galatasaray was one of the toughest fixtures around. 

The stadium would be a cauldron of noise and it was one of the fiercest atmospheres around. It has been a while since those days but having not played at this level for three years, you can be sure their fans will be well up for it.

One thing they have enjoyed in recent weeks is seeing their side win football matches. That is always fun. The home side are on an unbeaten run of ten games in all competitions so far this season and won five and drew just the one game throughout the qualifying process that got them into the group proper. They currently sit second behind Fenerbahce in the early days of the Turkish Super Lig season.

FC Copenhagen are top of the Danish Superliga having amassed 19 points from eight games, winning six, drawing the once and dropping to just the one defeat, a surprise 1-3 home reversal to Silkeborg. 

The Danish club only had to come through two rounds of qualification to make it this far and they did so by beating Icelandic side Breidablik relatively comfortably before scraping through on penalties against Sparta Prague in the final round. 

This is a tough group with Bayern Munich and Manchester United the other teams in the pot, so these two may well be battling for the Europa League spot. So a positive result against one another becomes all the more important and this could well be a sneaky big game for both sides.

Match Odds

The headline odds from this Champions League encounter are that Galatasaray come in as 4/7 favourites to take the win. The draw can be backed at 16/5 with the visitors out at 4/1. 

Betfred’s traders have priced up the Both Teams to Score market relatively evenly with the ‘Yes’ just about the favourite at 8/11 with ‘No’ an even money bet. The over 2.5 goals price is unsurprisingly the favourite at 4/6 but interestingly the odds for the home side to score over 1.5 themselves is just 8/13, clearly the money is coming in on Fatih Terim’s team doing well.

Team News

Many fans of the Premier League will be thinking this might be a good chance to see how former Crystal Palace man Wilfried Zaha is doing over in Turkey following his free transfer in the summer. I’m sorry to say that he’s not expected to play through injury. The classy winger has missed his past five and has only made two substitute appearances since signing for Galatasaray.

Two players that people will recognise are Hakim Ziyech and Tanguy Ndombele. Both players have joined on loan and are available to play on Wednesday night having made their debuts at the weekend.

Mauro Icardi has already found the back of the net eight times this season and is definitely the man to watch for the home side following signing permanently in the summer from PSG.

As for Copenhagen, they don’t have many household names that the average fan will recognise. Andreas Cornelius might be one of them but the former Cardiff City striker is set to miss out having come off midway through the first half of their league game at Nordsjaelland at the weekend. 

Mohamed Elyounoussi endured a pretty torrid time at Southampton but did enjoy a relatively fruitful loan spell at Celtic. The 29-year-old should start with Orri Oskarsson expected to replace the injured Cornelius up top.

Bet 1 – Mauro Icardi to score anytime @ 19/20

I already hinted at it earlier but the Argentine striker has been in superb form since his switch to Turkey. He spent last season on loan and bagged a total of 23 goals from 26 games in all competitions. 

So far this campaign he’s notched up eight from eight. That is a pretty darn decent ratio for a striker and the 30-year-old is just a smidgen under Evens to find the back of the net in their Champions League opener. That feels about right.

Bet 2 – Galatasaray to win & Both Teams to Score @ 21/10

In both legs of their third-qualifying round win over Molde, the Turkish side won but also allowed their opponents to find the back of the net. The same is true of their league game at the weekend when they dispatched Samsunspor 4-2.

Copenhagen have seen three of their past four games result in Both Teams to Score being a winner. I like the home side to win but the 4/7 feels a touch short but adding the wrinkle of BTTS to the bet makes it a far more interesting price of 21/10.

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