UCL matchday 5: Beşiktaş – FC Porto

Updated: November 20, 2017

Beşiktaş are on the verge of adding a new chapter to their European history, a single point against FC Porto will suffice to secure them their first ever qualification to the knock-out stages of the UEFA Champions League.

The Black Eagles missed out on the knock-out stages of the Champions League in agonising fashion last season on the final matchday of the group stages. But with 10 points from the four games that have been played so far, already 3 points more than they had in total last season, there should be no more excuses to miss out on qualification this time around.

Quaresma and Pepe both played key roles as Beşiktaş beat their ex-team Porto 1-3 at the Dragão earlier this season.

Porto will undoubtedly form a difficult challenge for the Black Eagles to overcome, despite the 1-3 away win Porto are certainly no pushovers. The current Portuguese league leaders have gathered 6 points following an impressive away win at AS Monaco and a home victory over RB Leipzig, as they also lost away at Leipzig the Portuguese side are still very much in need of points to secure their qualification to the knock-out stages.

Win or draw Beşiktaş are certain of winning the group, but should they lose there is still a chance that they could miss out on their date with history. Worst case scenario if Beşiktaş loses and Leipzig win away at Monaco, the Germans could still qualify ahead of Beşiktaş should they beat the Eagles with a bigger goal differential than the Eagles’ 2-0 home win over the Germans.

But realistically Beşiktaş have a great chance to qualify, since a failure from Leipzig to win away at Monaco alone is already enough to guarantee Beşiktaş qualification to the next round without even ever having to play themselves. However due to Turkey not partaking in Summer-Winter time Beşiktaş will be playing significantly earlier on Tuesday than Monaco-Leipzig, so it would still be best for the Black Eagles just to do their jobs and get atleast one point against Porto.

Despite an injury scare during the International break while in action for Portugal, Pepe should be fit to play against Porto barring any last second injuries. The experienced Portuguese defender has played a key role in Beşiktaş’ success thusfar so it is imperative that he’ll be fit and plays, therefore he was rested on Friday as Beşiktaş took on Akhisar (0-0) in the league.

Şenol Güneş is expected to start with his go-to eleven on Tuesday, with only Caner Erkin being omitted from the matchday squad.

Porto coach Sergio Conceiçao will have to manage without Marega, Otavio and Soares but Vincent Aboubakar — who missed the first match — will be back at the Vodafone Park for the first time since he played on loan with the Black Eagles last season. Aboubakar has been instrumental in Porto’s success this season and will undoubtedly be their biggest threat.

Beşiktaş JK (TUR) – FC Porto (POR)
Location: Vodafone Park
Referee: Miguel Mateu Lahoz (ESP)
Date: Tuesday, November 21st
Time: 18:00 CET
Channel: TRT1
Matchday 5

Beşiktaş predicted XI:

Fabricio Ramirez; Gökhan Gönül, Pepe, Duško Tošić, Adriano Correia; Atiba Hutchinson, Tolgay Arslan, Anderson Talisca; Ricardo Quaresma, Cenk Tosun, Ryan Babel.

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Kaan Bayazit

Editor-in-chief at Beşiktaş International
Freelance sports writer specialized in Turkish football and Beşiktaş. Co-host of the Black Eagles podcast. Frequently featured in World Soccer Digest Japan and many other international media outlets. Following Turkish football for close to two decades. Proud father to Aedin.
Kaan Bayazit
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