Turkish champion Beşiktaş
wants to maintain its good start to the Champions League on Sept. 26 when it hosts RB Leipzig for the first time as the German
upstart hunts a maiden win in its debut season in Europe.
The Istanbul lost a heated derby at Fenerbahçe
2-1 on Sept. 23 and finished with eight men as five players were sent off in the game in total, including the club’s Portuguese star Ricardo Quaresma.
The post-game press conference was attended by Beşiktaş
assistant coach Şeref Çiçek instead of head coach Şenol Güneş, who was sent to the stands by the referee in the second half.
The derby game is over and it is time to focus on the Champions League game, Çiçek told reporters.
Beşiktaş kicked off its campaign with a 3-1 win at Porto but is seeking a first victory against German
opposition at the eighth attempt. The club has a good home record on the European stage, having lost just once in 17 games, but drew all three fixtures in last season’s group stage.
Hıowever, it has lost all three previous home matches against Bundesliga visitors without scoring, and has been beaten in all but one of its games against German
Leipzig finished second to Bayern Munich last year in its first season in the Bundesliga, but has made a slower start to the new campaign, losing twice already. In the other game of Group F, Monaco, which drew 1-1 with RB Leipzig in its first game, hosts Porto.
Porto has fond memories of its only previous encounter with Monaco -- Jose Mourinho’s side beat Didier Deschamps’ team 3-0 in the 2004 Champions League final in Gelsenkirchen.
Last season Monaco produced its best run since by reaching the last four. Despite the sale of numerous key players, Leonardo Jardim’s squad has won six of seven matches to start Ligue 1 with Radamel Falcao -- a former Porto standout -- torching opposing defenses to the tune of 11 goals.
Thomas Lemar and Danijel Subasic remain injury doubts for Monaco, while Porto can welcome back leading scorer Vincent Aboubakar following suspension.
Porto has won its first seven league matches but slid to defeat at home against Beşiktaş
a fortnight ago.
Also on Sept. 26 in the Champions League, Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid meet in the group phase for the second year running and history suggests the holder could face another difficult evening in Germany.
Dortmund topped its group ahead of Real last term after a pair of 2-2 draws between the sides and is off to a flying start in the Bundesliga.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s hat-trick inspired Dortmund to a 6-1 rout of Borussia Mönchengladbach at the weekend that left the club three points clear of Bayern Munich.
Real failed to score for the first time in 74 matches in a shock 1-0 home loss to Real Betis on Cristiano Ronaldo’s return from a five-match domestic ban but bounced back to win 2-1 at Alaves on Sept. 23.
The Spanish giant is winless in six trips to Dortmund though.