Besiktas vs Partizan – Thursday, August 29, 18:00 BST/19:00 CEST – Besiktas Park, Belgrade, Turkey
There is still plenty left to play for after Besiktas and Partizan drew 1-1 in the first leg in Belgrade. Partizan’s striker Ricardo Gomes had brought the Belgrade side ahead in the 14′ minute, but just one minute later Tolgay Arslan equalised to make it 1-1.
The rest of the match was then dominated by physical play with neither side being able to break the deadlock. In the end, this result will favour Besiktas as the Istanbul based club will now head through to the group stage with a 0-0 draw or a victory.
At the same time, recent results suggest that Besiktas are not invulnerable at home at the Besiktas Park. The Kara Kartallar conceded three goals in their 3-2 defeat to Antalyaspor on the weekend.
That game, in particular, highlighted that Besiktas have some defensive weaknesses. The club have since signed Loris Karius from Liverpool to strengthen the defence. But the keeper will not be available for the match against Partizan on Thursday.
Partizan, in the meantime, made short process with Macva on matchday 6 of the Serbian SuperLiga. The 3-1 victory means that Partizan are now fifth in the table five points behind Crvena Zvezda, who will be competing for a Champions League spot on Wednesday.
With one game in hand, Partizan could come within three points of Crvena Zvezda once they have made up their match in hand. Scoring just five goals in five games, however, Partizan have to be efficient on Thursday at the loud and noisy Besiktas Park in Istanbul if they want to upset the apple-cart and advance to the group stage of the Europa League.
Besiktas vs Partizan – Players to look out for:
Ricardo Quaresma #7 – Besiktas
Ricardo Quaresma is a beautiful player, the sort of footballer, who will dazzle you with a bit of magic. A freekick, a shot from a distance or a trick out of this world. Every once in a while Quaresma highlights his unlimited potential that for one reason, or another, was never completely fulfilled. Hence, while Quaresma is no Ronaldo, he is the sort of player people come to watch for a bit of magic and an excellent reason to tune into this match on Thursday.
Marko Janković #10 – Partizan
Partizan are a talent factory for half of Europe. But not everyone is successful right away after making a move abroad. Every once in a while the Crno-beli have to bring back talent to allow that player additional playing time. Marko Janković is such a case. The Montenegrin was developed by Partizan but left the club four years ago for Olympiacos Piräus. A loan to Maribor did not, however, work out as planned and ultimately Janković returned to Belgrade. Playing on the right-wing for Partizan Belgrade the 23-year-old still has a bright future and could still make the step to a bigger European league.
Besiktas vs Partizan – Match Stats
- Partizan finished as league runners-up in Serbia in 2017/18
- Beşiktaş were fourth in Turkey in the 2017/18 season
- Black Eagles beat Partizan 4-0 and 2-1 in 2014/15 Europa League group stage
- Partizan unbeaten in 2018/19 #UEL qualifying: W5 D2
Futbolgrad Network Prediction: Besiktas vs Partizan – 2-2
Besiktas vs Partizan – Lineups
Zengin – Adriano, Pepe, Vida, Gönül – Uysal, Medel – Babel, Özyakup, Quaresma – Negredo
Head Coach: Senol Günes
Stojković – Miletić, Marković, Valiente, Miletić – Zdjelar, Kosović – Zakarić, Pantić, Janković – Gomes
Head Coach: Zoran Mirković
Manuel Veth is the owner and Editor in Chief of the Futbolgrad Network. He also works as a freelance journalist and among others works for the Bundesliga and Pro Soccer USA. He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in History from King’s College London, and his thesis is titled: “Selling the People’s Game: Football’s transition from Communism to Capitalism in the Soviet Union and its Successor States,” which is available HERE. Originally from Munich, Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently is located in Victoria BC, Canada. Follow Manuel on Twitter @ManuelVeth.