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Europa League: Lokomotiv Moscow vs Fenerbahce preview

Kick-off: Thursday, 25 February @16:00 GMT

Venue: Stadion Lokomotiv (Moscow)

Live Stream: fuboTV (US), bet365 (non-US)

Head to head record

Fenerbahce vs Lokomotiv Moscow 2-0 (2015/2016 Europa League)

Lokomotiv Moscow vs Fenerbahce prediction

Lokomotiv Moscow face an uphill task in Thursday’s game against Fenerbahce. The Russian outfit need to overcome a two-goal deficit in the return leg if they are to make it to the Europa League last 16, but that is easier said than done.

Lokomotiv need a big win

Lokomotiv Moscow played their first competitive match since 10 December on Tuesday night and nobody was really surprised when the Russian outfit suffered a 2-0 loss to Fenerbahce in Istanbul. The Turkish side put Igor Cherevchenko’s men in a very difficult situation as they need to record a big win over Fener if they are to book their place in the Europa League last 16. Lokomotiv were outclassed by Sporting Lisbon in their last home game in the competition and I do not believe that they are capable of making a miracle on Thursday evening. Former Partizan Belgrade striker Petar Skuletic failed to impress in the first leg, but he is widely expected to lead the line for the hosts against Fenerbahce. Important striker Maicon returns to the starting line-up and he will be yet another man to watch in the home team. Anyhow, the hosts have no other choice but to go all-out attack in the return leg as they need to score at least two goals if they are to keep their hopes of reaching the next round alive.

Tarasov misses the Fenerbahce game through suspension, while Shishkin is sidelined with injury. Igor Cherevchenko has no other injury concerns ahead of the match. Maicon is likely to be recalled to the starting XI.

Job half-done

Fenerbahce produced a fine display against Lokomotiv in the first leg and they totally deserved to beat the Russian side at their Sukru Saracoglu Stadyumu. The Turks are with one foot in the next round, but they can’t afford any complacency in Thursday’s match in Moscow if they are to avoid an unpleasant surprise. Fener head into the game following a goalless draw with Bursaspor and the fact that they managed to keep a clean sheet in each of their previous two games in all competitions is giving the fans a reason for optimism ahead of the trip to the Russian capital. Midfielder Souza impressed in the first leg and he is likely to prove a handful for the opposition back line on Thursday evening. As before, Robin van Persie will lead the attack for the away side and you should bear in mind that the former Manchester United ace has netted only one goal in the process so far.

Serbian winger Lazar Mirkovic remains in the recovery room, alongside Abdoulaye Ba, while Diego misses the match through suspension. Raul Meireles is a major doubt and he will be monitored ahead of the kick-off.

Quick Facts

  • Lokomotiv Moscow failed to keep a clean sheet in seven of their last eight home games in EL
  • Igor Cherevchenko’s troops played out a 1-1 draw with Besiktas at home earlier in the process
  • Fenerbahce are on a four-game unbeaten run at the moment
  • Vitor Pereira’s charges suffered only one loss in previous 11 away games in EL
  • Fener managed to keep a clean sheet in previous two games

Lokomotiv Moscow vs Fenerbahce betting tip

Fenerbahce are eager to defend their big lead in the return leg and the visitors are likely to rely on their defence in Thursday’s game. Lokomotiv failed to score a decent opportunity to score in the first leg and seeing that Fener have been impressive at the back of late, there is every chance we will see a low-scoring match in the Russian capital.

Tip: Under 2.5 goals

Odds: 1.60 (3/5) @bet365

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