Besiktas vs Bayern München – Wednesday, March 14, 17:00GMT/18:00CET – Besiktas Park, Istanbul, Turkey
As expected by the Futbolgrad Network, Bayern München very much wrapped this tie up in the first leg. But Besiktas put up a good fight until Domagoj Vida’s deserved red card in the first half. Once a man down Bayern overwhelmed Besiktas and got the expected high scoring victory, which should be enough of a cushion going into the second leg.
With the tie more or less decided one could expect Bayern to rotate the squad somewhat and give the likes of Sandro Wagner and Rafinha some game time. But with the upcoming international break Jupp Heynckes, which should provide some Bayern players with some much-needed rest Heynckes is expected to field Bayern’s strongest squad.
“We will have to go into the game like it is still 0:0”, Arjen Robben told the press on the weekend. “It will be a heated game and we don’t want to give anyone any ideas that there is a chance that this leg could be turned over,” Mats Hummels added. For Heynckes a victory in Istanbul would mean a new Champions League record – currently, he is even with Carlo Ancelotti and Louis van Gaal for ten games won in a row.
Besiktas in the meantime has guided its focus on the league. Senol Günes told the media on the weekend: “Bayern have destroyed our dreams of reaching the quarterfinals we will now focus on the league.” But Besiktas are now without a defeat in six home games in a row and the Turkish club wants to preserve that record at least.
Bayern, however, will have different plans and given the clinical approach in recent weeks – for example, the ruthless 6-0 victory against Hamburg – the Bavarian are likely to dominate this match as well.
Besiktas vs Bayern München – Players to look out for:
Talisca #94 – Besiktas
Talisca is among the most talented players in the Turkish Süper Lig. The Brazilian attacking midfielder has scored nine goals, and three assists in 20 Süper Lig games this season as well as four goals in five Champions League games. His shot has been described as a force of nature as he likes to hammer balls in from outside the box. A powerful attacking midfielder Talisca has now been linked with a move to one of the big European leagues with RB Leipzig among the suitors.
Arturo Vidal #23 – Bayern München
“Bayern’s achievements in Europe are sensational”, Arturo Vidal told kicker in the big Monday interview. The Chilean midfield enforcer believes that Bayern’s strategy to not buy superstars for big money, but rather strengthen the squad piece by piece has been paying off and that the side is very much capable of winning the Champions League. “I want to see my picture with the Champions League trophy in the Bayern museum,” was another of his statements. Vidal might very well get his wish, and the midfielder has been a big part of the club’s revival under Heynckes as he is very much one of the leaders in midfield and now has a good chance to stay at the club long-term.
Besiktas vs Bayern München – Match Stats
- Beşiktaş lost their only previous two-legged knockout tie against a German club 3-1 on aggregate to Borussia Dortmund in the 1989-90 European Cup Winners’ Cup first round (0-1 home, 1-2 away).
- No club has ever managed to recover a five-goal first-leg deficit in UEFA competition.
- FC Barcelona hold the record for the biggest first-leg deficit overturned in the UEFA Champions League era, recovering from a 4-0 away loss to Paris Saint-Germain with a 6-1 home win in last season’s round of 16.
- This is Bayern’s 14th round of 16 tie, and the German champions – who finished second in Group B – are closing in on the quarter-finals for the seventh year in a row.
Futbolgrad Network Prediction: Besiktas vs Bayern München 0-3
Besiktas vs Bayern München – Lineups
Fabri – Adriano, Tosic, Medel, Gönül – Hutchinson, Arslan – Babel, Talisca, Quaresma – Negredo
Head Coach: Senol Günes
Ulreich – Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Alaba – Javi Martínez – Müller, Rudy, Vidal, Ribéry – Lewandowski
Head Coach: Jupp Heynckes
Manuel Veth is the owner and Editor in Chief of the Futbolgrad Network. He also works as a freelance journalist and among others works for the Bundesliga and Pro Soccer USA. He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in History from King’s College London, and his thesis is titled: “Selling the People’s Game: Football’s transition from Communism to Capitalism in the Soviet Union and its Successor States,” which will be available in print soon. Originally from Munich, Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently is located in Victoria BC, Canada. Follow Manuel on Twitter @ManuelVeth. Or contact him via email: manu[email protected]