Preview: Sporting Lisbon v Besiktas: Black Eagles undefeated in Europe

Gokhan Tore

Beşiktaş go into the Europa League Match Day 6 undefeated in the competition so far but playing Sporting Lisbon away could prove to be their toughest test yet.

The Black Eagles need a draw to guarantee a place in the Europa League Round of 32 while Sporting need a win to advance.

The Istanbul giants could of course even quality if they lose should Lokomotiv Moscow lose to Skenderbeu but they will not want to leave things to chance and will pretty confident of their chances.

Beşiktaş are first in the Super League and their Europa League group. Eagles boss Şenol Güneş will be able to call on a full strength side with only Gökhan Töre a doubt.

In form striker Mario Gomez has been firing on all cylinders and already has 11 goals in 18 appearances this season earning himself a call up to the Germany national team as well as attracting interest from Manchester United.

Güneş has a wealth of attacking talent to call upon in midfield with the likes of Jose Sosa, Töre, Olcay Şahan, Oğuzhan Özyakup and former Sporting man Quaresma all in good form.

The main concern Güneş has is his defensive midfield as he only has Atiba Hutchinson – who has been sublime this season – fit. Both Veli Kavlak and Tolgay Arslan are out injured but Atiba has managed to cope with the pressure so far.

Defence will be Güneş’s man concern. The Eagles are prone to defensive blunders and goalkeeper Tolga Zengin is not the most reliable in big games.

Sporting will be without Bruno Paulista, Carlos Mané, Gutiérrez, Jefferson and William Carvalho but are also in great form domestically topping the Portuguese table.

The Eagles have performed well in Europe over the past season and should have enough quality and experience to at least force a draw.

Stadium: Jose Alvalade
Referee: Manuel Grafe
Kick-Off: 22:05

Expected Starting Line Ups
SPORTING LIZBON: Patrico, Silva, Ewerton, Figuiredo, Esgaio, Mario, William, Aquilani, Ruiz, Montero, Pereira.
Manager: Jorge Jesus

Injuries: Bruno Paulista, Carlos Mané, Gutiérrez, Jefferson, William Carvalho

BEŞİKTAŞ: Tolga, Beck, Rhodolfo, Tosic, İsmail, Atiba, Oğuzhan, Quaresma, Sosa, Olcay, Gomez.
Manager: Şenol Güneş

Injuries: Veli Kavlak, Tolgay Arslan,

Doubts: Gökhan Töre

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