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Monday, 17 December, 2018

Besiktas can book place in last four with Lyon triumph

Adriano (right) celebrates a Besiktas goal
1 of 1

Quarter-final second-legs
8.05pm Thursday

Lyon staged a stunning fightback in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final with Besiktas, sealing a 2-1 victory with goals in the 83rd and 85th minutes, but the tide could turn back in favour of the Turkish side in Istanbul.

Besiktas relinquished a very strong position at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais (ex-Liverpool forward Ryan Babel had given them a first half lead) but they are still in with an excellent chance of reaching the semi-finals.

The Turkish league leaders have won both of their home games in the knockout stage - defeating Hapoel Be'er Sheva 2-1 and Olympiakos 4-1 - and look value to topple Lyon, who are no longer among the strongest clubs in France.

Lyon won the last of their seven league titles in 2008 and are fourth in the table, 19 points behind third-placed Nice.

They have often raised their game in the Europa League this season and performed to a high standard to register a 4-3 aggregate success over Roma in the round of 16.

But they face a stern test in front of a noisy crowd on the banks of the Bosphorus and look short-priced 2-5 shots to qualify.

A second-leg success looks likely for Besiktas, who are targeting a sixth win in seven home games.

Davy Klaassen netted a double in Ajax's first-leg victory over Schalke

Schalke were lucky to get away with a 2-0 loss away to Ajax last Thursday but are unlikely to stage a recovery.

Goalkeeper Ralf Fahrmann had an inspired game for Schalke in Amsterdam, making ten saves, but it was a disappointing night for the Germans, who went into the tie with high hopes.

Ajax were by far the superior side, winning the shot count 20 to six, and are getting closer to delivering a first European trophy since their Champions League triumph in 1995.

They are likely to face a tougher game in Gelsenkirchen but are worth backing to avoid defeat.

Racing Genk are the surprise package in the quarter-finals and go into their second leg at home to Celta Vigo facing a slender 3-2 deficit.

The Belgians are are 15-8 to reach the last four, while Celta are 4-9 favourites.

1pt 13-8 bet365
Ajax or draw double chance
1pt 19-20 Betway

Bet on the Europa League on

A second-leg success looks likely for Besiktas, who are targeting a sixth win in seven home games
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