UCL matchday 3: Napoli – Beşiktaş

Updated: October 18, 2016

UEFA Champions League
SSC Napoli (ITA) – Beşiktaş JK (TUR)
Location: Stadio San Paolo
Referee: Sergey Karasev (RUS)
Date: Wednesday, October 19th
Time: 21:45 (GMT+2)
Channel: Tivibu
Group B Matchday 3

Following their second consecutive victory on the road in the Turkish Süper Lig, Beşiktaş are headed in to their third consecutive away fixture, this time in the Champions League.

The Black Eagles have gathered two points from their two opening matches in Group B putting them currently in second place behind leaders Napoli who won both their games against Dynamo Kyiv and Benfica.

The Italian vice-Champions could break a Champions League record if they manage to beat the Eagles and the other match in Group B ends in a draw: they could be the first ever team to qualify for the next round after just 3 matches.

Beşiktaş have had a positive start to the season and are currently in pole-position in their domestic league to extend their reign as Champions. In Europe they haven’t gotten what they wanted from their second match, against Dynamo Kyiv, but still are in a good position going forward. However the trip to Naples will pose an incredible challenge for the Black Eagles, who have never gotten a win on Italian soil.

Gökhan İnler spent 4 seasons at Benfica between 2011 and 2015, earning the respect of their fans.

Gökhan İnler spent 4 seasons at Benfica between 2011 and 2015, it will without question be a special match for him.

With Napoli making quick work of Benfica on the previous matchday the Black Eagles are warned and know what they are in for. Beşiktaş will need to play a very good game if they want to bring any points home with them going in to matchday 4.

Despite an impressive start in their Champions League campaign, Napoli have been in a bit of a slump domestically with back-to-back losses at the hands of Atalanta (1-0 away) and AS Roma (1-3 at home).

Both teams are missing a key man with Napoli having to do without Polish International striker Arkadiusz Milik, while Beşiktaş are without their midfield maestro Oğuzhan Özyakup.

For Beşiktaş winger Ricardo Quaresma it will be his 50th Champions League appearance, a milestone in his illustrious career, while Gökhan İnler returns to the San Paolo for the first time since leaving Napoli in the Summer of 2015 after spending four seasons with them.

After some experimentation with two strikers over the weekend the Black Eagles are expected to shift back to their trusted 4-2-3-1 formation. There are still a few question marks as to whom will start up front and whether Gökhan İnler will be ready to start.

Napoli predicted XI:

Pepe Reina; Elseid Hysaj – Koulibaly – Raúl Albiol – Faouzi Ghoulam; Piotr Zielinski – Jorginho – Marék Hamsik; José Callejón – Manolo Gabbiadini – Dries Mertens

Beşiktaş predicted XI:

Fabricio; Andreas Beck – Marcelo – Dusko Tosić – Caner Erkin; Atiba Hutchinson – Gökhan İnler – Anderson Talisca; Ricardo Quaresma – Adriano Correia – Vincent Aboubakar

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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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