UEL round of 32: Beer Sheva – Beşiktaş

Updated: February 16, 2017

The Black Eagles have had a terrible start to the month of February with back-to-back defeats in both the Turkish cup and the league. Now they travel to Israël for their first European match of 2017, away at Hapoel Beer Sheva.

When doing our research on the Israëli champions we found quite a few similarities between the two clubs, both have recently inaugurated their new stadium and both have a solid home reputation. While Beşiktaş are clear favourites for the tie, that may actually play in Beer Sheva’s advantage as they love that underdog role.

In fact Beer Sheva may be a more treacherous opponent than many back in Turkey would expect, judging on their impressive Europa League groupstage campaign in which they kept both Inter Milan and Southampton at bay the Israëli team are certainly not to be underestimated.

With 3 goals and 3 assists Ricardo Quaresma was the Black Eagles’ star of the Champions League group stages

They have several players that have thusfar had a key role in their European campaign but likely the most familiar name is that of former Chelsea striker Ben Sahar, while veteran goalkeeper David Goresh (37) has grown out to be somewhat of a cult hero and his solid performances have earned him is first cap for the Israëli national team only a little over a year ago. Ben Sahar however suffered an injury during Beer Sheva’s last league match and is therefore doubtful, his replacement is likely going to be the experienced Elyaniv Barda, who spent a large part of his career at Belgium’s KRC Genk. Ben Sahar did fully participate in training this week but is still expected to start on the bench.

One of the players we had tipped as one of Beer Sheva’s possible threats is Maor Buzaglo, however the former Standard Liège man is out injured and will miss the first leg. His replacement in the starting eleven is expected to be youngster Michael Ohana (21).

With the first tie being played at Beer Sheva’s Turner stadium, Beşiktaş arguably have an advantage in the tie, as long as they don’t suffer a big defeat. Should Beşiktaş get a positive result in the away leg the Black Eagles will have a great chance to advance in one week’s time at the Vodafone Arena.

The Black Eagles will have to do without Vincent Aboubakar, Andreas Beck and Adriano Correia who are both serving diciplinary suspensions, Adriano for yellow card accumilation, Vincent Aboubakar for his red card against Dynamo Kyiv (double yellow) and Andreas Beck for his direct red card against Dynamo Kyiv aswell.

Beşiktaş will be forced to make atleast one change to their “regular” eleven from the start of 2017 with Adriano suspended. His replacement will likely be Dusko Tosic with Andreas Beck also being out suspended.

The referee for this match will be the Englishman Martin Atkinson, let’s hope he’s a better referee than the Scottish Craig Thomson was or we might aswell forget about the return leg.

Hapoel Beer Sheva FC (ISR) – Beşiktaş JK (TUR)
Location: Turner stadium
Referee: Martin Atkinson (ENG)
Date: Thursday, February 16th
Time: 21:05 CET
Channel: Tivibu
Round of 32 first leg

Hapoel Beer Sheva predicted XI:

David Goresh; Wiliam – Ben Bitton – Shir Tzedek – Ben Turgeman; Ovidiu Ștefan Hoban – Mehran Radi – Maor Melikson; Elyaniv Barda (Ben Sahar) – Anthony Nwakaeme – Michael Ohana

Beşiktaş predicted XI:

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