Tips for Beşiktaş's Champions League action and others

ARDA ALAN IŞIK
ISTANBUL
Published 16.10.2017 23:17

In the most crucial period for their group stage struggle, Beşiktaş will face Monaco two times in a row. Having beaten Porto and Leipzig, Beşiktaş have great credit coming into the game against Monaco, which was only able to get one point against those same two teams. Nevertheless, both teams are now out of form and they were unable to dictate their game against their respective opponents in the last three games.

Although Beşiktaş got three points against Leipzig, the team did not give good signals in the second half of the game when their opponent had several opportunities. On the other hand, Monaco also had a weak performance and they were not able to score against Porto, which was plagued with serious defensive problems. Thus, today I expect a close end game and both teams to score, given Monaco has to win and Beşiktaş is still highly effective in counterattacks.

However, Beşiktaş have a chance to win because Monaco has been struggling to score as of late and they have been very vulnerable against counterattacks. Beşiktaş's strategy against stronger opponents is much different from their strategy against weak Anatolian teams, and coach Şenol Güneş created a decent counterattacking strategy in the last year.

Nevertheless, if Monaco can see this trap and use Beşiktaş's weapon against them, things may develop very differently. Pressing the fragile connection between defense and midfield has always been deadly for Beşiktaş, and if Monaco can use a quasi-Benfica tactic against the black-eagles, they may earn their first win.But there are much safer games to consider tonight in the Champions League, and Manchester City versus Napoli certainly tops that list. Although both teams are at the top of their form and it is not easy to predict the final result, one thing is clear, there will be three or more goals in this game.

Pep Guardiola has finally managed to distribute the playmaking role of Kevin de Bruyne to whole offensive players, and especially David Silva, which made Bruyne play much better with more freedom. But Napoli has also settled their offensive game and Marek Hamsik and his game vision are always ready to solve offensive issues when a plan is not working. I expect lots of goals and a highly entertaining game.

Another great game tonight will be Real Madrid versus Tottenham in Madrid. Real Madrid struggled against Getafe this weekend, but unlike Chelsea, Juventus and Dortmund, they were able to cope with the resistance with a perfect game by Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese star has developed his game to a new level, and coach Zinedine Zidane is incredibly talented in creating sufficient time and space for his winger. But Tottenham also have a superstar, namely Harry Kane, who seem like he is able to score from anywhere on the pitch.

Nevertheless, unlike Real Madrid, Tottenham creates opportunities via building their game in their opponent's half and fervent pressing, thus, it would be unrealistic to expect them to play a strict defensive game like Getafe. So the right thing to expect would be a high scoring game.

Lastly, apart from obvious games like Dortmund versus Apoel or Maribor versus Liverpool, Sevilla's victory over Spartak Moscow can be seen as a reasonably risky try. The Russian side got a point against Liverpool, but the game could have ended easily as a Liverpool win given Jurgen Klopp's team wasted many opportunities. As Sevilla is a more balanced team than Liverpool, I expect a clear Sevilla victory against Spartak Moscow. Another reasonable risk is expecting at least three goals from Leipzig versus Porto. Leipzig is a creative team, but they are unbalanced; sometimes they lose their form in defense, which Porto can easily utilize. Both teams will probably score; we can most probably expect at least three goals.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter