UCL Preview: Besiktas v Napoli – Black Eagles out to maintain unbeaten record

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Besiktas went into their last Champions League game having never beaten Italian opposition in European competition. Napoli meanwhile had never lost a Champions League game at home. All that changed following the Black Eagles 3-2 victory over the Serie A giants a fortnight ago.

The Istanbul based outfit are currently unbeaten in all competitions this season and head into the Napoli clash in high spirits but they will be without in-form midfielder Talisca and full-back Caner Erkin due to injury.

Star midfielder Oguzhan Ozyakup and utility man Necip Uysal also remain doubts going into the clash.

Napoli will progress to the next round of the competition with a win if Dynamo Kiev and Benfica draw their game however, as the Italians found out in their last encounter with Besiktas the Eagles will be no pushovers.

The Serie A based outfit go into the game as clear favourites but fatigue may play a factor considering this is Napoli’s fourth game in 10 days.

Besiktas are unbeaten in their last 12 games at home but Senol Gunes underlined that another victory would be great but that a draw would not be a bad result either.

“We want to play our own game and win; or at least stay unbeaten so that we are not cut adrift of our rivals,” Gunes said at his pre match press conference.

Gunes may be claiming his side will be more cautious at home but it is not in the manager’s nature to play a defensive game. Besiktas’ strength is going forwards and it would not be a surprise if the Eagles were to bring the game to Napoli especially at home in front of a raucous home crowd.

Napoli will be without star striker Milik but as they showed in the first leg they still pose a threat going forwards.

What really stood out in the first-leg was how open the game was. Besiktas are not exactly renowned for having a rock solid back-line but Napoli’s was at times comical. Expect another high scoring game tonight in Istanbul and do not be surprised if the Eagles get another impressive result at their home fortress.

Prediction: Over 2.5 goals

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