UCL matchday 2: Beşiktaş – RB Leipzig

Updated: September 26, 2017

Beşiktaş will have little time to lick their wounds following their controversial derby defeat on the weekend, as tonight they will host RB Leipzig at the Vodafone Park in the Champions League group stages.

The Black Eagles got off to a superb start in group G as they bagged 3 points on the opening matchday away at FC Porto, while Leipzig were held to a 1-1 draw at home against AS Monaco. The Germans can ill afford another loss of points if they hope to reach the next round of the Champions League. Meanwhile Beşiktaş can’t afford to let this opportunity slip through their fingers, a first ever Champions League win at the Vodafone Park would see the Eagles make a perfect start in this very competitive group, another 3 points would give Beşiktaş a huge advantage headed in to their next match against AS Monaco with an excellent chance to qualify for the next round for the first time in their history.

With all that said, Leipzig will without a doubt push Beşiktaş to their limits; The Germans ended second in the Bundesliga last season in their first season at the top flight, their squad is full of young and extremely talented players. They’re known to play a high tempo, high pressing game, much like Napoli. But Beşiktaş managed to collect 4 points against Napoli last season so they’ve shown that they can cope with these kind of sides. However, Beşiktaş are still without a natural rightback as Gökhan Gönül is not yet match fit. Adriano Correia, who bailed the team out at rightback against Porto, is also struggling with a minor injury and missed the last training yesterday. Gary Medel started on the right side of defence against Fenerbahçe and may reprise his role again as conveniency rightback tonight.

Beşiktaş will surely have the edge in terms of Champions League experience as they take on a young but talented Leipzig side.

Apart from that Beşiktaş are at full strength, but with an intense derby just a few days behind them, Şenol Güneş might be tempted to make a few changes. New signings such as Álvaro Negredo and Jeremain Lens are ready to go, but with Cenk Tosun, Ricardo Quaresma and Ryan Babel all playing a key role in the Porto victory, Şenol Güneş may be tempted to stick to his regulars.

Referee for this match will be the Russian Sergey Karasev, who was already in charge of last season’s Champions League match against SSC Napoli (2-3 away win) in which he awarded Napoli with two penalties. Previously he also led the 1-3 home defeat at the hands of Club Brugge during the 2014/15 Europa League campaign, in which he failed to send off Brandon Mechele early in the firs thalf for a last man foul on Demba Ba. A referee which hasn’t exactly made many decisions in the Black Eagles’ favour.

Former Galatasaray winger Bruma is not expected in the starting eleven tonight, with Forsberg, Timo Werner and Augustin expected up top.

Beşiktaş JK (TUR) – RB Leipzig (GER)
Location: Vodafone Park
Referee: Sergey Karasev (RUS)
Date: Tuesday, September 26th
Time: 20:45 CET
Channel: TRT 1
Matchday 2

Beşiktaş predicted XI:

Fabri; Gary Medel, Pepe, Dusko Tosic, Caner Erkin; Atiba Hutchinson, Oğuzhan Özyakup, Anderson Talisca; Ricardo Quaresma, Cenk Tosun, Ryan Babel

RB Leipzig predicted XI:

Gulacsi; Klostermann, Orban, Upamecano, Halstenberg; Demme, Keita; Augustin, Werner, Forsberg

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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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