A spot in the third qualifying round of the Champions League is on the line when Turkish powerhouse Galatasaray hosts FK Zalgiris at the Ali Sami Yen Stadium on Wednesday following an exciting conclusion to the first leg in Lithuania.
The teams will meet again in Istanbul after an amazing finish last week that included three goals in the closing 15 minutes and a sending-off in stoppage time.
Galatasaray vs Zalgiris
After a 2:2 draw in the first leg in Vilnius, the second game of the Champions League second qualifying round will take place in Istanbul on Wednesday night. Galatasaray significantly upgraded the team after a poor season (2021/22) in which they placed 13th, and they rightly won the league title, the 23rd in their history, leaving Fenerbahce eight points behind. Despite adding more players to the roster this season, the qualifiers did not go as planned.
For many years, Zalgiris has been the top team in Lithuania. In the last 10 seasons, they have won seven championships; in the three seasons they didn’t, they finished in second place. Due to the distinct football season, Zalgiris has already played 24 games in the domestic league, yet despite playing one more game, they are still six points behind FK Panevezys.
A fairly balanced first half saw neither team score, but the Lithuanian champions did so immediately after the interval. Gala then tied the score when Abdulkerim Bardakci headed in an equalizer in the 75th minute.
Three minutes later, the visitors took the lead thanks to a close-range strike from Halil Dervisoglu, but Zalgiris made an incredible late comeback through Donatas Kazlauskas. After taking off his shirt in celebration, he was immediately given a second yellow card.
There is still a lot to play for in Istanbul because the winner of the match between the two teams will play either Ludogorets or Olimpija Ljubljana in the next round, after which the playoffs for group stage admission will take place.
Zalgiris performed admirably, if not a little unluckily, in the first leg. They have scored 23 goals in their past nine competitive games, and they have recently outperformed themselves in the Champions League.
They defeated Bodo/Glimt later in the qualifiers and defeated Malmo last season with a 3-0 aggregate victory, so their attackers are unafraid of playing against more experienced opponents.
Galatasaray had won six straight competitive games before the draw against Zalgiris. Zalgiris, on the other hand, has just two wins and one loss in the same amount of games. Additionally, Super Liga Champions have won three straight competitive games at Rams Park. In addition, Galatasaray was successful in holding the Green Whites to a tie in the first leg despite giving up an equalizer in stoppage time.
No of the competition, at least three goals have been scored in each of Zalgiris’ last four games, and we anticipate that this will continue.
Tip: BTTS (YES) / Over 2.5 Goals
BTTS (YES) – ❌
Over 2.5 Goals – ❌
Bet Here > Bet9ja
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