Beşiktaş to avoid another defeat
Beşiktaş suffered a moment of shock, when it conceded a last-minute goal by Denis Garmash while playing against Dynamo Kyiv at the Lobanovskyi Stadium. AA Photo
Beşiktaş will look to avoid mistakes that cost it points when the team hosts Dynamo Kyiv tonight in the Europa League.
The Black Eagles will play against the Ukrainians only two weeks after conceding a stoppage-time goal to lose 1-0. Denis Garmash fired home off a corner to shock Beşiktaş and help his team climb to second in the standings, pushing Beşiktaş to third.
Beşiktaş has three points and is sitting third behind Group E leader Stoke City and Dynamo Kyiv, who have seven and five points respectively.
Leader Stoke City visits Maccabi Tel-Aviv tonight.
The defeat to Dynamo went down as the third consecutive win over Beşiktaş for the Ukrainians. The Black Eagles lost to Dynamo 8-1 on aggregate to be eliminated from the Europa League last season.
However, Beşiktaş showed signs of improvement after the Dynamo Kyiv game, going on a three-game unbeaten streak in the Turkish league, including a 2-2 draw to titleholder Fenerbahçe.
Beşiktaş’s famous fan supporters are likely to play a huge role in the team’s bid for a win and the team board cut the ticket prices to attract more fans.
The initial prices for the tickets ranged from 50 to 500 Turkish liras were announced on Oct. 31 but were reduced to 30 and 300 liras on Nov. 1 in the hopes of attracting a bigger crowd.
Meanwhile, Stoke heads to Maccabi Tel Aviv, which it beat 3-0 two weeks ago, without defender Ryan Shawcross and midfielder Marc Wilson after the pair limped out of Monday’s 3-1 Premier League defeat to Newcastle with muscular injuries.
“We always knew this week was going to be a massive ask. And now the second and third games will seem even tougher for us,” manager Tony Pulis said. “This was the game where we hoped we would be nice and fresh, ready to go. But it hasn’t worked out that way, so now we must make sure we bounce back in Tel Aviv.”
Also in the competition, Udinese is on the verge of progress in the Europa League ahead of tonight’s meeting with Atletico Madrid.
Meanwhile, another Italian side, Lazio, urgently needs victory to avoid an embarrassing early exit. The Italian rivals are performing well domestically in Serie A, where they are both one point behind league leader Juventus. But only Udinese has carried that domestic form into Europe’s second-tier club competition. Lazio hosts FC Zurich, two weeks after drawing 1-1 in Switzerland against the same side.
The Rome club at least has the consolation that Zurich and Romania’s Vaslui are performing equally poorly in Group D, with all three clubs tied on two points and vying to advance alongside likely group winner Sporting Lisbon.
Lazio’s bright spot ahead of the Swiss test is that its forwards are in form. Miroslav Klose has been finding the target frequently, with eight goals in 11 matches in all competitions since joining from Bayern Munich, while Djibril Cisse set up two goals in Sunday’s 3-0 Serie A win over Cagliari.
Vaslui hosts Sporting Lisbon in the other Group D match, with the Portuguese club on seven points and sure to advance if it wins.
Udinese has its own in-form striker ahead of its trip to Atletico, against whom it won 2-0 in Italy with two late goals. Antonio Di Natale has led Serie A in scoring the past two seasons and again tops the chart this season with seven goals through the club’s opening nine matches.
England’s Tottenham Hotspur is unbeaten since Aug. 28 with eight wins and three draws from its past 11 matches but will again rest many key players for its Europa League assignment at Rubin Kazan. The likes of Rafael van der Vaart, Gareth Bale, Luka Modric, Scott Parker and Brad Friedel all sat out Spurs’ 1-0 win over the Russian side two weeks ago.
In a sign that the Europa League trails the Premier League as a priority for Tottenham, manager Harry Redknapp – who will also miss the trip because of what the north London club said is a medical procedure – even joked with reporters asking who he would send on the five-hour flight to Russia.
“I don’t know,” Redknapp said. “Are you fit?” Fringe players Giovani Dos Santos, Tom Carroll, Jake Livermore and Danny Rose seem likely to reprise their starting roles from the previous match.
An additional AP story was used in this story.