Gazisehir Gaziantep vs Antalyaspor

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Today’s free tip is in the Turkish Super Lig encounter between Gazisehir Gaziantep and Antalyaspor.

With only a handful of games remaining, and a sizeable gap between both clubs and the drop zone, I think it’s fair to say that it’s unlikely either team will be suckered into the relegation dogfight. Gazisehir Gaziantep are playing badly enough for that to happen, mind you, but I just don’t see the likes of Konyaspor and Kayserispor winning all of their remaining matches. They’ve certainly walked a tightrope in 2020 though, Gazisehir Gaziantep, and that’s partially why I want to oppose them today.

On paper, I like their squad. I liked their displays earlier in the season too. They made some cracking signings pre-season, of which rapid Kayode and defensive rock Djilobodji have stood out. Romanian midfielder Maxim has done well since joining on loan from Mainz 05 in January too. Not everybody seems to be on the same page now though. There’s almost this kind of arrogance about Gazisehir Gaziantep’s displays that I really don’t like; it certainly wasn’t present earlier in their campaign. It’s like they’ve done enough to prove themselves to the rest of the Super Lig so now they don’t have to work hard quite as often. The Super Lig is very competitive, though, so that’s an extremely bold stance for them to have. Again, with a few more match rounds, I think they might have just got roped into the relegation battle.

I know I’m supposed to be impressed that they’ve held both Trabzonspor and Galatasaray to draws lately, but I’m not. I thought they made the most of Muslera’s absence and Galatasaray’s lack of fans, not to mention lack of defensive structure, and even then needed a 105th(!) minute penalty to secure a draw. Against Trabzonspor, it was yet another case of the title hopefuls playing well enough to win but not doing the right things when in the lead, which is becoming far too common for them away from home. I’m more interested by how Gazisehir Gaziantep performed against Alanyaspor and Ankaragucu, both of which were very lazy displays. Part of that could be fatigue, of course, because they’ve not rotated much this season. However, it takes more than fatigue to fail to beat Ankaragucu at home right now, and if that Gazisehir Gaziantep turns up today, they’ll be lucky to draw.

By contrast, Antalyaspor look fresh, sharp, and surprisingly hungry for a team with little to play for. They may have been hammered in the Cup by Alanyaspor (always a risk nowadays) but I was seriously impressed by how well they returned from the Covid-19 break. It was hard to envision them playing better than they did prior to the break but somehow they’ve found a new level. Alright, it’s easier to play in Istanbul when there are no fans present but beating Besiktas JK is no small thing. Last time out, they took Rizespor to the cleaners too, and Rizespor are fighting for their lives at the moment so again, not easy to do.

I don’t know why Antalyaspor are still this motivated, but they are. Maybe they enjoy playing without pressure, or maybe games against teams that come at them suit their counter-attacks more. Whatever the case may be though, Antalyaspor do look very strong at the moment. Podolski and fellow countryman Gumus have settled in well, and it’s quite possible they’re still trying to prove themselves for future assignments. Let’s face it – Antalyaspor have a bloody strong and varied attack since their winter signings with Macedonian poacher Jahovic also coming to town. I can’t imagine many Super Lig teams containing Antalyaspor right now, that’s for sure.

Of course, they’re also in possession of one of my favourite match-winners of the past decade of Super Lig football – Morocco’s Chahechouhe. He’s an excellent dribbler with good finishing skills and good vision. I remember watching him carry Sivasspor for a time; that’s when I knew that, by Super Lig standards, he was a very special player. Antalyaspor now have him, and even in the twilight of his career, he’s still one hell of a creative threat. Boss Tuna has a lot of options, basically, and a lot of experience too. He’s done a good job since he came in, the players seem to respond well to him, and he’s bedded in his newbies very well indeed. What’s not to like here?

I’d be intrigued to see where Antalyaspor finished had they played like this for longer than they have because they do have a lot of positives and very few negatives to speak of. I guess we’ll never know though. I don’t see any real reason to doubt them delivering another convincing display today though. I would imagine their performances will ultimately drop off at some stage, but I’ve nothing to make me think it’ll be today. Even if it does, are they really going to lose against a tired, seemingly disinterested Gazisehir Gaziantep? I wouldn’t think so, not unless the home team randomly shows up.

The only real risk here is that neither team has much to play for. Truth be told, they could both arguably eliminate the minuscule threat of relegation if they played for a draw here. I certainly don’t see any great reason for either outfit to take substantial risks, hence the draw no bet cover. Still, Antalyaspor are playing bloody well, and I don’t see Gazisehir Gaziantep taking enough risks here to actually beat them so I’m on the visitors with draw no bet cover at 9/10.

Verdict: Antalyaspor to win with draw no bet at 9/10.

Sunday’s Thoughts

As ever, if there are any explanations required then please feel free to post a comment! For the remainder of my thoughts on today’s games, see below, although I feel compelled to write that the below are not necessarily my tips but merely my thoughts. For confidence ratings, you’ll need to go to the members section here.

Austrian Bundesliga:

Salzburg vs Hartberg
LASK vs Wolfsberger AC
Sturm Graz vs Rapid Vienna

Bulgarian A PFG:

Beroe vs Levski Sofia

Czech Republic Liga 1:

Viktoria Plzen vs Sparta Prague
Slavia Prague vs Baumit Jablonec
Opava vs Marila Pribram
Sigma Olomouc vs Karvina
Teplice vs Zlin

Danish Superligaen:

FC Nordsjaelland vs Brondby
FC Copenhagen vs FC Midtjylland
Randers vs AC Horsens
Hobro vs Esbjerg

English Premier League:

Watford vs Southampton

English FA Cup:

Sheffield United vs Arsenal
Leicester City vs Chelsea
Newcastle United vs Manchester City

Faroese Betrideildin:

IF vs TB
Vikingur Gota vs KI
Skala vs HB Torshavn
AB vs NSI Runavik

Finnish Suomen Cup:

Inter Turku vs FC Lahti

German Bundesliga 2:

VfB Stuttgart vs Darmstadt 98 
Hannover 96 vs VfL Bochum
Hamburger SV vs SV Sandhausen
Holstein Kiel vs Nurnberg
Arminia Bielefeld vs Heidenheim 
Jahn Regensburg vs Erzgebirge Aue
Dynamo Dresden vs Osnabruck
Greuther Furth vs Karlsruher SC 
Wehen Wiesbaden vs St. Pauli

Icelandic Urvalsdeild:

Stjarnan Gardabaer vs KA
HK vs Valur Reykjavik
IA vs KR

Israeli Ligat Ha’al:

Hapoel Haifa vs Beitar Jerusalem
Hapoel Kfar Saba vs Sektzia Nes Tziona 
Bnei Yehuda Tel-Aviv vs Ironi Kiryat Shmona 
Maccabi Netanya vs MS Ashdod

Italian Serie A:

AC Milan vs AS Roma
Udinese vs Atalanta Bergamo
Sampdoria vs Bologna
Sassuolo vs Hellas Verona
SSC Napoli vs SPAL
Parma vs Internazionale

Lithuanian A Lyga:

Kauno Zalgiris vs Suduva Marijampole
Riteriai vs Zalgiris Vilnius
Panevezys vs Banga Gargzdai

Norwegian Eliteserien:

Molde FK vs Stabaek
Bodo/Glimt vs Sarpsborg 08
Mjondalen vs Kristiansund
Sandefjord vs Haugesund
Stromsgodset vs Aalesund FK
Brann Bergen vs Rosenborg BK

Portuguese Liga 1:

Boavista vs Santa Clara

Russian Premier League:

Ural Sverdlovskaya Oblast vs Tambov

Spanish Primera Liga:

Levante CF vs Real Betis Balompie
Villarreal CF vs Valencia CF
Granada CF vs Eibar
RCD Espanyol vs Real Madrid

Swedish Allsvenskan:

Sirius vs IFK Goteborg
Djurgarden vs Kalmar FF
Mjallby Solvesborg vs Hammarby
Elfsborg Boras vs Orebro
AIK Solna vs Malmo FF

Swiss Super League:

FC Basel vs FC Sion
St. Gallen vs FC Thun
FC Zurich vs Lugano

Turkish Super Lig:

Sivasspor vs Kayserispor
Rizespor vs Denizlispor
Istanbul BB vs Galatasaray
Gazisehir Gaziantep vs Antalyaspor

Enjoy your free betting tips!