Beşiktaş eyes a good result against Bayern
The game against the five-time European champion German giant, which has dominated the Bundesliga for the last five seasons, will be tough for the Istanbul club, and comes days after a devastating 1-1 draw at Konyaspor in a league game.
Beşiktaş chairman Fikret Orman said the team was sad about the result, but every game is a fresh challenge.
“We have no injured players and we will be on the pitch with a full squad,” Orman told the club’s official TV station. “I hope that the football luck will be on our side.”
Beşiktaş coach Şenol Güneş may also field two winter break signings, striker Vagner Love and defender Domagoj Vida, against Bayern Munich.
Beşiktaş, the first Turkish team to win a Champions League group, has been unbeaten in its last seven European matches, winning three of them.
But its opponent also has an impressive record: The Munich club has won all 11 home games since veteran coach Jupp Heynckes took over in October, scoring 33 goals in the process and only conceding eight.
Bayern Munich’s James Rodriguez believes that the club should aim for a treble: Winning the league, domestic cup and the Champions League trophies.
“We can win the Champions League this year with Bayern,” James told UEFA.com. “We’ve got so much quality in the squad that we just need to make sure we’re all singing off the same hymn sheet. If so, then the trophy we all really, really want might be ours.”
Also in the Champions League on Feb.19, Premier League champion Chelsea takes on Spanish and European powerhouse Barcelona.
Chelsea must play the “perfect game” to beat a formidable Barcelona, the manager of the English club Antonio Conte has said.
“On one hand you know this team is one of the best in the world - maybe they are favorites to win this competition,” Conte told British media.
“On the other hand we must be excited because we have a great opportunity to play a massive game against a really strong team and to show which is our level.
“... We have to try to have the perfect game, the perfect game to try to make the best decisions. For this type of team... they have fantastic characteristics with the ball. But they can have weaknesses without the ball and we have to try and exploit this.”
Barcelona’s star forward Lionel Messi has never scored in eight matches against Chelsea and Conte is eager for his team to maintain that record.
Chelsea last defeated the Spanish side in 2012 as the London outfit marched to its first Champions League title, and midfielder Cesc Fabregas, who moved to Stamford Bridge from Barcelona in 2014, is confident that Conte’s side can repeat the feat.
“They try to put the first pressure very, very high – [they] always work towards the ball,” Fabregas said.
“If we can [get] past this first phase of their pressure, then we have the content to do that, and not put ourselves under too much pressure, then I think we can hurt them because they will leave a lot of spaces at the back.
“Hopefully we can give a good image of what we can do and do a good performance.