Paul Higham thinks a fired-up Galatasaray will give St Johnstone all kinds of problems in their Europa League qualifier in Istanbul.
Galatasaray v St Johnstone
Thursday 5 August 19:00 BST kick-off
Let’s not sugar coat it, Galatasaray were embarrassed by PSV Eindhoven when they were hammered 7-2 in their Champions League qualifier, and they’ll be looking to make amends when they drop down to Europa League qualification against St Johnstone.
Getting battered by PSV was another bitter pill to swallow after Galatasaray agonisingly finished second to Besiktas in the league last season by just a single goal – and surely their frustrations will come out sooner or later.
It could well come in the first leg of this tie in Istanbul on Thursday, and St Johnstone need to be careful facing such a testing trip with just one competitive game under their belts so far.
A 0-0 draw at Ross County is not quite the same test that this game will provide..
The Scottish side do of course have decent cup form after landing the Scottish Cup and League Cup double last season, but at 4.03/1 to get through this tie and 1110/1 to win this game in 90 minutes the bookmakers certainly think it’s a step too far for Callum Davidson’s side.
Gala have plenty of attacking options to turn to to try and blast St Johnstone out of the water, including Radamel Falcao, Ryan Babel and Mbaye Diagne and that firepower will surely prove to be too much for the Scottish side.
Those two defeats to PSV brought an end to an 11-game unbeaten run for Galatasaray and ended a five-game winning streak at home – this just looks a case of how they’ll win rather than if.
And with the talent they have, and the desire to bounce back from that PSV humiliation, this angry Galatasaray team will be dangerous – a win and three goals overall is not much to ask at all here at 2.111/10.
Goals haven’t been flowing in St Johnstone games, but there have been at least three in Galatasaray’s last seven games stretching back to the end of last season.