By Gary Fulcher.
Liverpool return to the scene of our famous European Cup final triumph on Thursday when we face Besiktas at the Ataturk Stadium in the Europa League last 32 2nd leg tie in Istanbul; 6pm kick off UK time. Liverpool take a 1-0 lead to Turkey thanks to Mario Balotelli’s 85th minute penalty and with injuries and suspensions to four of Besiktas’ defenders plus first choice goalkeeper, it will be a big ask for Slaven Bilic’s side to prevent Liverpool from scoring a vital away goal. If the Reds do score, it will mean Besiktas will need to win by two clear goals to avoid being eliminated by the away goals rule if the tie ends in a draw.
The Black Eagles have already faced both Arsenal and Tottenham this season, losing 0-1 to the Gunners over the two legs of the Champions League play-off back in August, with Wenger’s side winning 1-0 at the Emirates. Besiktas’ failure to make it to the group stages of the Champions League saw them drawn in the same group as Tottenham, Asteras Tripolis and Partizan Belgrade in the Europa League. Besiktas topped their group unbeaten finishing ahead of Spurs in 2nd place, drawing 1-1 at White Hart Lane and securing a 1-0 victory at the Ataturk.
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