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Preview: RB Leipzig – Besiktas

This is a huge match for RB Leipzig (RBL) who must better FC Porto’s result to secure their place in the knock-out stages of the Champions League (CL) for the first time in their eight-year history. Besiktas, meanwhile, have already qualified as comfortable Group G winners.

 

Flashscore presents the key facts before the match:

Besiktas head into this match in superb form, unbeaten in 11 matches (W5, D6 in all competitions) and after beating their city rivals Galatasaray in a stunning 3-0 win at home last weekend. To add to this excellent spell of form, Besiktas are also undefeated in the CL this season.

RBL coach, Ralph Hasenhuttl, is expected to make a few changes to his team following the unexpected 4-0 loss at Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga last Saturday. Speaking after the loss, RBL midfielder, Stefan Ilsanker, stated: “It was a difficult game. We wanted to risk more in the second half, but nothing went to plan for us and it’s a big disappointment. Hoffenheim punished us for the space we gave them. We won’t let this result impact on Wednesday’s game though. We will put on a completely different face for that one!”

The first clash in the group back in September (their only previous H2H encounter) at the Vodafone Stadyumu saw Besiktas win 2-0 following goals by Ryan Babel and Talisca, with home advantage and a raucous crowd playing their part. RBL will be hoping for this same advantage as they look for a morale-boosting victory, especially as their home form has been decent with their last ten home games showing a record of W6 D2 L2 in all competitions.

Timo Werner is the Bundesliga side’s danger-man and has so far scored 11 goals in all competitions for Leipzig this season, including three in the CL. For Besiktas, their leading scorer in the CL this season is Cenk Tosun (four, plus two assists).

There have been over 2.5 goals scored in RBL’s last three CL games whilst just one of Besiktas’ last three CL matches finished with over 2.5 goals scored (the other two both 1-1 draws).

 

Missing players

RB Leipzig: M. Sabitzer (shoulder injury), F. Coltorti (doubtful)

Besiktas: A. Nukan (knee injury), G. Tore (muscle injury).