UCL matchday 5: Beşiktaş – Benfica

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Updated: November 22, 2016

Both the Black Eagles and Benfica stand ahead of a crucial match in the UEFA Champions League group stages, a win for Beşiktaş would mean they’d only need one more point to guarantee themselves qualification, while Benfica are through should they gather all 3 points.

Regardless of the result between Napoli and Dynamo Kyiv, Beşiktaş need 4 more points to guarantee them atleast a second place finish in Group B, neither team can afford a slip up at this stage. Beşiktaş remain undefeated both in the Champions League aswell as in the Turkish league while Benfica are also unbeaten domestically.

Benfica have faced several Turkish clubs over the years (Fenerbahçe, Galatasaray and Trabzonspor) but have never managed to win in Turkey, Beşiktaş on the other hand still remain undefeated at Vodafone Arena. All this however is no guarantee for a happy ending, Beşiktaş will have to play a very concentrated game as they did in both encounters with Napoli.

Both sides met on matchday 1 of the group stages at the Estádio da Luz where things ended all square. Since then Beşiktaş have made one major change to their lineup; Fabricio has replaced Tolga Zengin in goal. Benfica will shape up significantly different than they had on matchday 1 as they’ve recovered several players who’ve been out with injuries, most notably Greek striker Kostas Mitroglou.

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Quaresma has found his best form in the Champions League and has been very influential with two goals and two assists in four games.

Beşiktaş are without Luiz Rhodolfo, Caner Erkin and Anderson Talisca, who are all out due to injury. Benfica have a few injuries of themselves as they are missing left-back Álex Grimaldo, midfielder André Horta and striker Jonas.

The man in form for the Black Eagles is their Portuguese star Ricardo Quaresma, who has scored both goals so far at Vodafone Arena during this Champions League campaign. As a former player of Sporting Lisbon and FC Porto he’ll be dead set to make an impact tomorow against their biggest rivals Benfica.

In the other match in group B SSC Napoli are facing Dynamo Kyiv at the San Paolo stadium in Naples, unless Kyiv come away with a surprising win in Italy the Black Eagles are guaranteed atleast Europa League football in February, regardless of their own result in the next two games. A win for Napoli would put them on 10 points but not yet certain of qualifciation, should Beşiktaş take 4 points from their next two games while Benfica beat Napoli on matchday 6 the Italians could still get eliminated from the Champions League. Benfica will be guaranteed atleast a second place finish if they win at Vodafone Arena while Beşiktaş would still need a point in Kyiv to guarantee qualification.

On matchday 6 Benfica take on Napoli at the Estádio da Luz while Beşiktaş travel to Ukraine to face bottom of the group Dynamo Kyiv.


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Beşiktaş JK (TUR) – SL Benfica (POR)
Location: Vodafone Arena
Referee: Damir Skomina (SVN)
Date: Wednesday, November 23rdt
Time: 18:45 CET (20:45 local time)
Channel: Tivibu
Group B Matchday 5


Beşiktaş predicted XI:

Fabricio Ramirez; Andreas Beck – Marcelo Guedes – Dusko Tosic – Adriano Correia; Atiba Hutchinson – Oğuzhan Özyakup – Tolgay Arslan; Ricardo Quaresma – Vincent Aboubakar – Cenk Tosun

Benfica predicted XI:

Ederson; Nélson Semedo – Luisão – Victor Lindelöf – Eliseu; Ljubomir Fejsa – Pizzi – Eduardo Salvio – Franco Cervi; Gonçalo Guedes – Kostas Mitroglou

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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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