Beşiktaş out to overtake lead in CL group
Beşiktaş out to overtake lead in CL groupTurkish champion Beşiktaş will go top of Group B if it follows up a 3-2 away win over Napoli with a home win over the Italian side at its new stadium, where they have won 13 of their past 14 league fixtures.
Euro 2016 star Ricardo Quaresma continues to impress for Besiktaş and his free-kick and Cameroon striker Vincent Aboubakar’s brace secured a famous victory in Italy on Oct. 19. For the visitors, Spain’s Jose Callejon is the man to watch after he scored a seventh goal of the season in a 2-1 Italian league loss to Juventus on Oct. 29.
Beşiktaş also suffered a disappointment in the domestic league as it drew 1-1 with Ankara’s Gençlerbirliği away on Oct. 28 to fall two points behind leaders Başakşehir.
Napoli can book a place in the next round if they win and Benfica draw with the group’s cellar dwellers, Dynamo Kyiv.
Beşiktaş’s Gökhan İnler, who has been looking for recovery from injury, played and captained Napoli between 2011 and 2015. Beşiktaş will also be without left back Caner Erkin and attacking midfielder Talisca due to long-term injuries.
Adriano, the former Barcelona right back who scored the first Beşiktaş goal in Napoli, is one booking away from a ban.
Back in the UEFA Champions League for the first time since 2009/10, Beşiktaş is hoping to negotiate the group stage hurdle for the first time at the sixth attempt. In that 2009 campaign, it lost all three home fixtures and finished bottom of the section, although it did memorably win 1-0 away at Manchester United.
Because Turkey has ceased using daylight saving time unlike the rest of Europe, this will be the first Champions League game to start at 8:45 p.m. local time in the country.
One of the hottest games of the night will be in Group C when Manchester City takes on Barcelona.
Lionel Messi scored three as Pep Guardiola’s return to Barcelona went belly up with a 4-0 defeat two weeks ago. On the bright side, a six-match winless streak was snapped by a 4-0 league win over West Brom on Oct. 28 as star striker Sergio Aguero scored twice. Barcelona only needs a point to qualify for the next round.
Because of Turkey’s new time practices, all the rest of the week’s Champions League fixtures will begin at 10:45 p.m. in Turkey instead of the usual 9:45 p.m.