Besiktas VS Benfica Prediction
In another fixture part from fifth round of the 2016-17 UEFA Champions League group stage, which has been scheduled earlier than usual, Besiktas takes on Benfica at the “Vodafone Arena” in Istanbul. Champions of Turkey and of Portugal are both in position and determined to reach the Champions League Round of 16, which pretty much depends by the final outcome of their direct encounter on Wednesday night, 23 November 2016. Group B contains three teams with good chances and aspirations for finding their place into the 1/8 finals, where besides both teams involved in this match, Napoli is another serious contender. This makes the group really intriguing and unpredictable, so we have few possible scenarios here. First one of them is related with hosts Besiktas, who will go through if they win against Benfica, while Napoli slips against Dynamo Kyiv at home. On other hand “Eagles” from Lisbon will continue their Champions League flight if they travel back to Portugal with full set of points won from their journey to Turkey. And one more if – if game ends with a draw, then we can expect one extremely exciting matchday 6, where Benfica is set to host on Napoli and Besiktas will challenge Dynamo in Ukrainian capital Kyiv.
Besiktas vs Benfica – Team News and Match Preview
Besiktas managed to squeeze a point out from their visit at the “Estádio da Luz” on matchday one, when Anderson Talisca leveled the score in closing minutes of the game. He scored the equalizer after a successfully executed free-kick, but irony comes from fact he’s on loan at Besiktas exactly by Benfica. His goal can be crucial if Besiktas finds a way to earn all the points on Wednesday and this can be a very special moment for Turkish champions, which are back on the Champions League stage after seven years. Indeed, last group stage entry of “The Black and Whites” was back in season 2009-10, when Besiktas have been knocked-out after that round. Their elimination was influenced by a poor home record and it’s true Besiktas remains without a home win in the Champions League groups since 28 November 2007, when Besiktas of Ertugrul Sağlam won 2-1 against Olympique Marseille after a late goal by Bobo. In following five group stage matches played by Besiktas in Istanbul they have 3 defeats (all of them in during 2009-10 season) and both 1-1 draws in current edition. Besiktas took the lead in both occasions but “Black Eagles” couldn’t maintain their slim lead against Dynamo Kyiv and Napoli.
Overall group stage performances of Besiktas are making Senol Gunes’ side unbeaten (victory and 3 draws), but however, they remain third, on a point behind joint-leaders Benfica and Napoli. Anyway, victory against Benfica will be more than acceptable and three points will be enough for securing one of the sixteen 1/8 final positions for the Turkish champion.
Benfica surely regrets about missed opportunity in the first leg and goal by Talisca came as a real punishment for Rui Vitória. Never mind! Benfica still holds one of the cherished top two positions and “Reds” from Lisbon will be the side which should be more pleased on a draw, although they must face Napoli in the last round.
Portuguese champion arrived at Turkey in a fine mood after its biggest victory for season 2016-17. It came against team of Maritimo, whose fans may feel serious headache and have nightmares from their last matches against Benfica. The 6-0 on Saturday night was part from the Portuguese Cup and it was eight successive win of Benfica against Maritimo, but we must underline they have scored six goals in three of the last four meetings. Really impressive record which includes the 2016 League Cup Final from May this year, when Maritimo scored two goals but Benfica wrote them another six.
Of course, we’re not here to review history of clashes between Benfica and Maritimo, but we just wanted to share that Benfica seems to be in superb form. All the domestic efforts are once again placing them on top of the Primeira Liga, where Benfica leads with 5 points ahead to its rivals Porto and Sporting CP. Meanwhile, only defeat for Rui Vitória’s men came in the Champions League visit against Napoli, where they lost 4-2 at the “Stadio San Paolo” in Naples. That was late in September and has been followed by seven wins and only one draw in eight games, including the two against Dynamo Kyiv (0-2 in Ukraine, 1-0 at home) in previous two Champions League rounds.
Besiktas vs Benfica – Betting Prediction and Possible Lineups
Besiktas won maximum number of points in its last two domestic games, prior and after international break, leaving “Black and Whites” closely behind surprising Süper Lig leaders Istanbul Basaksehir. Both 2-1 victories were over former club of Senol Gunes (Trabzonspor) and last weekend’s outing against last placed Adanaspor came right on time, in order to put back Besiktas on the winning path before that fateful Champions League decider against Benfica. Not that they were losing before that, but Besiktas had two draws before those two wins and they can definitely carry only positive impact upon the team. In fact Besiktas remains undefeated (in a competitive game) since the Turkish Super Cup match against Galatasaray in mid-August, when they lost on penalties. This clearly means “The Black Eagles” from Istanbul have not lost in playing time within the 2016-17 season.
Senol Gunes will be keen to extend that record, as well as to take its sweet revenge for the lost duel against Benfica (0-2, 1-1) when Gunes was coach of Trabzonspor in the 2011-12 UEFA Champions League qualifying.
Experienced Turkish coach has a selection headache and he cannot rely to the injured left-back Caner Erkin, whose absence may require some rotations at the back. That defensive headache has grown with name of Rhodolfo, who’ll also miss the clash as well, so Atınc Nukan may start as a partner of Marcelo again, like in the weekend. Another option for Gunes is to make a switch at the backs, where Gökhan Gönül can start from the right and Andreas Beck can cover the left zone, meaning Dusko Tosic should be Marcelo’s centre-back partner, which looks more likely. Other missing names are of midfielders Veli Kavlak, Anderson Talisca and Aras Özbiliz, while Necip Uysal remains a doubt.
Alex Grimaldo, Andre Horta and Jonas are those who couldn’t make the trip to Turkey for Benfica, but good news are related with name of midfielder Ljubomir Fejsa, who found its name in the group.
Summer signing Rafa Silva is back to action, although it’s still to early for him to be included in the starting XI. However, he can always be an option if Benfica needs to push more and his presence on the bench will increase attacking potential of “The Reds”.
Final conclusion and Betting Prediction
Besiktas lost their first three home matches against Portuguese visitors before drawing 1-1 against Sporting CP in last season’s UEFA Europa League group stage. It has been followed by a 3-1 defeat in Portugal, which was decisive for second position in the group and thus Sporting reached the knockout phase at the expense of Besiktas.
Nearly one year after that game Besiktas looks inspired to put an end of its negative home record and to go through the UEFA Champions League group stage for the very first time.
Turks will be even more motivated by the fanatical support they usually receive from their fans and this makes the home advantage a considerable argument here. Nevertheless, Benfica can also claim three points and they may know how to benefit from the extra enthusiasm, which Besiktas is expected to play with.
According assessment of our betting experts, most reasonable bet on that game is that both sides will find a way to score a goal here. Besiktas will be boosted and eager to attack under the chants and roar of their fans, which may play them a bad joke for a moment. Especially when you play against team like Benfica which knows how to attack and this time they’ll have wide attacking strength, unlike their first fixture, when Portuguese team was full of injured attackers.
Once again, our betting prediction for the UEFA Champions League encounter facing Besiktas vs Benfica on Wednesday night, 23 November 2016, falls on “Both teams to score – Yes“.
Venue: “Vodafone Arena”, Istanbul.
Referee: Damir Skomina from Slovenia.
Possible starting lineups of Besiktas and Benfica
Besiktas JK: Fabricio – Andreas Beck, Dusko Tosic, Marcelo, Gökhan Gönül – Atiba Hutchinson, Oguzhan Özyakup – Adriano, Tolgay Arslan, Ricardo Quaresma – Cenk Tosun. (4-2-3-1)
SL Benfica: Ederson Moraes – Eliseu, Victor Lindelöf, Luisão, Nelson Semedo – Franco Cervi, Andreas Samaris, Pizzi, Salvio – Gonçalo Guedes, Konstantinos Mitroglou. (4-4-2)