The 4th round of the UEFA Champions leagues kicks off with the Besiktas vs Napoli matchup, the two leading teams of the group B. The home team, however, enters this match with 1 point less from the leader of the group Napoli, but at the same time with the advantage of the home crowd that will once again, without any doubt, provide a great atmosphere and help their team win more points.
What an important win it was for Besiktas away against Napoli, two weeks ago. The Turkish team managed to pull away a tough, but deserved, 3:2 win from Italy, which gave them a reason to enter this return fixture against Napoli with a load of self-confidence. Important will also be the other match between Benfica vs Dynamo Kiev, considering that the Portuguese team is ranked 3rd with 4 points and realistic chances to win one of the first two places in the group B.
As much as the away win against Napoli was important, so was the home game against Dynamo Kiev, which the Turkish team failed to utilize, managing only to win 1 point. With that on mind, the Besiktas management and players are fully aware that they cannot allow more failures in front of their home crowd, if they want to reach the next round. How important the matchup against Napoli is, shows the fact that Besiktas Coach Gunes has sent a combined starting eleven on the pitch last weekend against Genclerbirligi in the domestic competition. In that match Besiktas only won 1 point and now is are short 2 points from the leaders of the Turkish league Basaksehir.
Although it may seem that the combined team has failed to make anything important, this statement is not entirely true, as the Turkish giant has extended its undefeated streak to 13 games. This fact will surely mean a lot for the players as they will come out very strong suported strongly from their fans. Coach Gunes will not be able to count on the defender Erkin, Kavlak, Uysal and Talisca.
What a tough stretch of games for Napoli it has been. First they suffered a 3:2 home defeat to Besiktas, the managed to win two games against Empoli and Crotone but then once again suffered a loss to the Italian Champions Juventus 2:1. Overall, in their last 6 games, Napoli has managed to record only 2 wins and 4 losses. Their mediocre performance has reflected on their rankings in the domestic competitions, as Napoli is currently ranked 5th with 7 points less than the leading team Juventus.
On the other side, the Italian team has kicked of the Champions league campaign perfectly, recording 2 wins (against Dynamo and Benfica), but suffered a tough home defeat to Besiktas.
With that result, the situation is once again complicated and interesting in group B, especially, since Benfica is closing the gap on the two leading teams Napoli and Besiktas. The visitors will need to do whatever they can in order to come out of this match undefeated if they want to keep their chances of advancing to the next round alive. Have in note that coach Sarri won’t be able to count on the striker Milik and the defender Albiol, who are still out with an injury.
Napoli will look to revenge the tough home loss suffered to Besiktas two weeks ago, but this might be much tougher than expected, considering that Besiktas will play in front of the frenetic home crowd which in many cases is the extra push that in the end prevails on their teams’ side and helps them win points. Although both teams posses high quality players, it would be extremely hard to predict the winner of this match, so we will decided for a DRAW, but look for both teams to score.
Result Prediction: Besiktas – Napoli 1-1
Besiktas Lineups (4-4-2): Fabri – Beck, Marcelo, Tosic, Adriano – Hutchinson, Inler – Quaresma, Arslan, Sahan – Aboubakar.
Napoli Lineups (4-3-3): Reina – Hysaj, Maksimovic, Koulibaly, Ghoulam – Allan, Jorginho, Hamsik – Callejon, Gabbiadini, Mertens.
Besiktas vs Napoli
UEFA Champions League – Group B
Date: Tuesday, 1st November 2016.
Kick-Off: 18:45 CET,
Venue: Besiktas Arena, Istanbul.