UEL: Lokomotiv Moscow – Beşiktaş JK

Updated: October 21, 2015

UEFA Europa League
Lokomotiv Moscow (RUS) – Beşiktaş JK (TUR)
Location: Stadion Lokomotiv, Moscow
Referee: Serge Gumienny (BEL)
Date: Thursday, October 22nd
Time: 20:00 (GMT+2)
Channel: Tivibu
Matchday 3

The Black Eagles have arrived in Russia ahead of their Europa League group confrontation with Lokomotiv Moscow, the current leaders in group H with six points. Beşiktaş will need to get positive results in the double confrontations with the Russians as Sporting are facing the arguably weakest side in the group, Skënderbeu Korçë, over two games.

Beşiktaş are in good form, winning their last three league games straight including a crucial derby against Fenerbahçe. The Black Eagles have only lost once this season, on matchday two of the Süper Lig against Trabzonspor, after having played nearly the entire second half with 10 men due to Ricardo Quaresma’s sending off.

They will still have to do without midfielders Tolgay Arslan and Veli Kavlak however, Veli Kavlak is expected to be back in full training in two weeks but Tolgay Arslan is still out untill the second half of the season after his ACL injury and subsequent surgery.

arriving in moscow

The Black Eagles arriving in Moscow ahead of their Europa League clash with Lokomotiv.

This means Beşiktaş are still struggeling to complete the puzzle in midfield and over the past few weeks we’ve seen the combination of Atiba Hutchinson, Oguzhan Özyakup and José Ernesto Sosa the most frequent. But given that Şenol Güneş has made halftime changes to his midfield very frequently, usually bringing on Necip Uysal in favour of José Sosa to gain more defensive workrate in midfield, it would not be out of the question that the experienced coach starts Necip ahead of Sosa in Moscow.

Beşiktaş like to control the game and completed a wopping 625 passes this past weekend in their home game against Rizespor, a Süper Lig record. But with Lokomotiv’s strength laying on the counter attack, it will be interesting to see if Güneş adjusts his gameplan as the Russians already suprised Sporting at home.

It can be said that Güneş has eased Ricardo Quaresma in to the team over the past weeks and the Portuguese star certainly does not have a guaranteed place in the first team as Olcay has kept him on the bench at kick-off time frequently enough. However Quaresma has delivered in recent games with an assist away at Eskişehirspor and the winning goal this weekend against Rizespor while also getting playing time for Portugal during the international break.


Quaresma scored his second goal of the season against Rizespor on Sunday which proved sufficient for the 3 points.

Quaresma started on the bench against Rizespor however and came on during halftime, deciding the game with a strike from just outside the box in the 62nd minute, after the game Quaresma stated that he’s not happy with the situation as he is a player who wants to play every game. Güneş has done well to tap in to this determination in recent weeks, keeping the Portuguese player hungry for playing minutes. While in the past Quaresma might have gotten complacent, he is now on his toes because a bad performance could see him lose his spot on the team.

That other foreign star, Mario Gomez, has really foun his place in the team over the past few gaems. He has already scored six goals in eight Süper Lig games and against Rizespor had several key passes, including an assist which was wrongly ruled offside. He also presented Quaresma with the second goal after dribbling both a defender and Rizespor’s goalkeeper but Quaresma’s attempt was cleared off the goalline. But his performance against Rizespor showed that Gomez isn’t just a goalscorer, but can also turn provider and is suprisingly selfless for someone who lives off the goals he scores especially with his ambition to go to the 2016 EURO’s with Germany. Gomez has really become part of the time and plays in function of that team rather than playing for himself.


Manuel Fernandes spent 3,5 seasons in Istanbul, making 86 Süper Lig appearances for the Black Eagles, scoring 15 goals and assisting 29 more.

Turning our eyes to Lokomotiv Moscow we’ll see atleast two familiar faces; one being Oumar Niasse, former player of Akhisar Belediyespor, who has become Lokomotiv’s first choice up front. And the other of course being Manuel Fernandes, a former Black Eagle himself. Fernandes however has not been able to claim the role of a regular starter in Russia and it’s unlikely that he will start against Beşiktaş on Thursday.

Lokomotiv like to sit back and wait for their opponents to make a mistake so they can strike on the counter. This is something which will prove dangerous, we’ve seen in the past while playing Dynamo Kiev that you can dominate a game in terms of possession but still lose heavily. But Beşiktaş are a tough side to beat, so far only Trabzonspor has managed to do so and they could only turn the tables on the Eagles once they had gone down to 10 men. Sporting took the lead in Istanbul but Beşiktaş fought their way back in to the game. So far nobody has been able to shut out the Black Eagles either, they score atleast once per game. But at the same time Beşiktaş have always managed to score the first goal in every game they have won this season, if Lokomotiv score the first goal then statistically a win is out of the question as Beşiktaş have lost points in all three games in which they were first to concede (vs. Sporting 1-1, vs. Gençlerbirligi 1-1 and vs. Trabzonspor 1-2).

Beşiktaş predicted XI:

Tolga Zengin; Andreas Beck – Luiz Rhodolfo – Ersan Gülüm – Dusko Tosic; Atiba Hutchinson – Necip Uysal (José Sosa) – Oguzhan Ozyakup; Gökhan Töre – Ricardo Quaresma (Olcay) – Mario Gomez

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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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