Revitalised Beşiktaş welcome Benfica

Taking four points from their two games with SSC Napoli has put Beşiktaş JK firmly in contention for the knockout rounds but another stiff test faces them on matchday five as they host Group B’s joint-leaders SL Benfica.  

• With seven points, the same as Napoli, the Eagles can progress with a win. A Beşiktaş victory will take them through as long as Napoli do not also win.

• It is a timely opportunity for the Turkish side to secure a first ever competitive home win over Portuguese opponents.

• Away from home their record is much better, as evidenced on matchday one when Talisca, loaned to Beşiktaş from Benfica in August, earned the visitors a 1-1 draw in Lisbon. That was the first time the sides had faced each other on the European stage.

Match background  

• They lost the first three home fixtures against visitors from Portugal before drawing 1-1 against Sporting Clube de Portugal in last season’s UEFA Europa League group stage.

• Their record in ten games against Portuguese clubs is W2 D3 L5.

• On matchday two Beşiktaş were involved in another 1-1 draw when FC Dynamo Kyiv pulled level on 65 minutes to cancel out Ricardo Quaresma’s free-kick in the first half.

• They secured their first win in Group B with a 3-2 win at Napoli before drawing 1-1 in the return.

• Back in the UEFA Champions League for the first time since 2009/10, the Turkish Süper Lig champions are hoping to negotiate the group stage hurdle for the first time at the sixth attempt.

• In that 2009 campaign they lost all three home fixtures and finished bottom of the section. They have won only one of their last six home games in UEFA competition, and are on a five-game winless home run in the UEFA Champions League proper, last taking maximum points on 28 November 2007 in a 2-1 win over Olympique de Marseille.

• Their second fixture found the Eagles on the wrong end of a scintillating attacking display at SSC Napoli, who took a 4-0 lead by the 58th minute. The Lisbon side made the scoreline respectable with two late goals.

• They won two of their five away matches in last season’s competition, 2-1 at both Club Atlético de Madrid on matchday two and FC Zenit in the round of 16. They also drew 2-2 at FC Astana and were knocked out by FC Bayern München in the quarter-finals (0-1 away, 2-2 home).

• They also met Turkish opposition in last season’s group stage, losing 2-1 at Galatasaray AŞ and winning by the same score at home.

• Benfica were 3-1 aggregate winners (2-0 home, 1-1 away) against a Trabzonspor AŞ side coached by Şenol Güneş, now in charge of Beşiktaş, in the 2011/12 third qualifying round.

• In the 2012/13 UEFA Europa League semi-finals Benfica beat Fenerbahçe SK 3-2 on aggregate (0-1 away, 3-1 home) to progress to the final where they lost 2-1 to Chelsea FC.

• The Portuguese side’s overall record against Turkish clubs is W5 D3 L4; away it is W0 D2 L3.

Coach and player links
• Ricardo Quaresma started his career with Sporting, scoring eight goals in 59 Portuguese Liga appearances before leaving for FC Barcelona in 2003. He was at FC Porto from 2004 to 2008 and again from 2013 to 2015, when he signed for Beşiktaş.

• While at Club Atlético de Madrid, Eduardo Salvio scored three goals over two legs against Beşiktaş in the 2011/12 UEFA Europa League round of 16.

• Talisca is on loan at Beşiktaş from Benfica until the end of the season having scored 12 goals in his 53 league games over two seasons with the Portuguese club.

• Vincent Aboubakar played for Porto between 2014 and 2016 and scored the decisive goal in their win at Benfica last season past Júlio César. He also scored Cameroon’s goal in a 5-1 defeat by Portugal in a friendly international on 5 March 2014.

• Atiba Hutchinson scored for FC København in a 2-1 defeat by Benfica in the 2007/08 season UEFA Champions League third qualifying round first leg. 

• Players who played together:
Júlio Cesar Quaresma (FC Internazionale Milano, 2008–10)
Jonas Marcelo (Santos FC, 2007)
Kostas Mitroglou Olcay Şahan (VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach II, 2006/07)
Mitroglou Kerim Frei (Fulham FC, 2013/14)

• International team-mates:
Ljubomir Fejsa Tošić (Serbia)
Júlio Cesar, Luisão, Jonas Adriano (Brazil)
Eliseu, Pizzi, Rafa Quaresma (Portugal)

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