UEL QF: Lyon – Beşiktaş

Updated: April 13, 2017

Beşiktaş are in a European quarter-final for the first time in 14 years and travel to France to face the current Ligue 1 number 4: Olympique Lyonnais.

The 7 time French champions are already out of contention for a top 3 finish this season and find themselves 5 points clear of 5th placed Bordeaux, so they could afford themselves a loss over the weekend and rested several key players as they lost 1-4 at home against 19th placed Lorient.

No Quaresma magic for the Eagles tonight in France, will Talisca step up again?

In the round of 32 AZ Alkmaar from the Netherlands were easily dispatched with a towering 11-2 on aggregate while in the round of 16 Lyon narrowly eliminated AS Roma, which in large part they had to thank to their tremendous home performance and 4-2 victory in the first leg, Roma’s 2-1 win in the return leg did not suffice to trump the French.

Beşiktaş on the other hand made quick work of both Hapoel Be’er Shéva (Ro16) and Olympiakos Piraeus (Ro32) by beating both sides 5-2 on aggregate.

According to the bookmakers Lyon are firm favourites to advance to the next round, with a quote of 1,42 for Lyon and 2,90 for Beşiktaş (via Unibet). So Beşiktaş certainly have their work cut out for them if the bookies are anything to go on. Nevertheless Beşiktaş have had a tremendous European run so far, losing only once in 10 games while remaining unbeaten against both Napoli and Benfica in the Champions League, both teams that could easily be seen as atleast the equals to Lyon – if not better.

Lyon have several key players but the one that obviously jumps out the most is French international forward Alexandre Lacazette, who has scored an impressive 29 goals in 37 matches in all competitions. Beşiktaş have a topscorer of their own with Cenk Tosun, who has scored 21 goals in 39 appearances.

The Black Eagles will be without their Portuguese wizard Ricardo Quaresma during the first leg, he sustained a minor injury against Trabzonspor over the weekend and is being rested for the return leg next week. Vincent Aboubakar is out with a suspension following his direct red card against Olympiakos in the previous round of Europa League football.

This leaves Şenol Güneş with some puzzling to do up front as he doesn’t have a plethora of wingers available. It’s likely that Adriano Correia will start as a left winger/midfielder as he did several times in the Champions League earlier this season, with Dusko Tosic moving to leftback (as Caner Erkin isn’t fully matchfit yet).

Olympique Lyonnais (FRA) – Beşiktaş JK (TUR)
Location: Parc Olympique Lyonnais
Referee: Antonio Mateu (ESP)
Date: Thursday, April 13th
Time: 21:05 CET
Channel: TRT 1 HD
Quarter-finals first leg

Olympique Lyon predicted XI:

Anthony Lopes; Rafael – Mammana – Diakhaby – Morel; Tousart – Gonalons – Mathieu Valbuena; Ghezzal – Lacazette – Tolisso

Beşiktaş predicted XI:

Fabricio Ramirez; Gökhan Gönül – Marcelo Guedes – Matej Mitrovic – Dusko Tosic; Atiba Hutchinson – Oğuzhan Özyakup – Anderson Talisca; Adriano Correia – 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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