How Far Can Besiktas Get In The UEFA Champions League?

ISTANBUL;TURKEY - MAY 2: Senol Gunes, Head coach of Trabzonspor looks on during the Turkish Super League match between Galatasaray and Trabzonspor on May 2, 2012 in Istanbul,Turkey. (Photo by Bulent Kilic/EuroFootball/Getty Images)

Besiktas became the first Turkish side to book a place in the Champions League Last 16 as group leaders this season.

The Black Eagles cruised through Group G unbeaten, beating the likes of Porto, Monaco and Red Bull Leipzig away.

Despite being in great form the bookmakers have the reigning Super Lig champions priced as the second least likely team after Basel to win the competition.

SportPesa have the Istanbul giants priced at 150/1, could it be worth a cheeky punt?

Part of the problem is that Besiktas will face Bayern Munich in the next round.

To make matters worse star striker Cenk Tosun has joined Everton. The 26-year-old was directly involved in six of the 11 goals scored.

See More: 3 Reasons Cenk Tosun Could End Up Being A Success At Everton

Besiktas have however, relished being the underdog.

Nobody expected the Istanbul based outfit to make it out of the group but they did without having to break a sweat.

Additionally, Besiktas are coached by Senol Gunes who famously guided Turkey to 3rd place in the 2002 World Cup.

Gunes has built a side that have won back to back league titles and shown they are capable of playing Champions League football.

Besiktas have nothing to lose against Bayern and the German giants underestimate their opposition they could end up regretting it.

It is worth noting that Red Bull Leipzig are second in the Bundesliga and Besiktas made them look very ordinary.

In fact, Gunes’ boys managed to beat Leipzig in Germany missing seven first-team players in what was the Besiktas B team.

What was surprising was how ordinary Besiktas made Leipzig look.

I am not saying Besiktas will play Bayern off the pitch or anything of the sorts but underestimate them at your peril.

Gunes has a balance of experience and youth with Ricardo Quaresma, Ryan Babel, Pepe, Negredo and Hutchinson all over 30-years-old. Meanwhile, rising star Anderson Talisca and former Arsenal midfielder Oguzhan Ozyakup offer fresh ideas.

Babel and Quaresma are experiencing a late renaissance. Talisca has four goals in the competition while Real Madrid are probably wishing they still had Pepe in their back line.

What Gunes has achieved is pretty astonishing. As far as Champions League money goes he is on a shoe-string budget but he has assembled a motley crew of talented but troubled players and got them playing out of their skin.

Besiktas didn’t just get through the group stage, they breezed through. Playing impressive football, dominating games. They were deserved winners. Their success was by no means a fluke.

The Eagles are well balanced, have great synergy and work ethic. They also happen to play some pretty impressive football.

Bayern need no introduction but this is not the German giants of old. The Bavarians are in transition and this side will probably not make the hall of hame.

Besiktas may not win the Champions League this season but as for an upset against Bayern Munich? do not rule it out!