Besiktas is without one of its group-stage stars after his transfer to Everton, leaving some slack for others to pick up in a series vs. in-form Bayern Munich.

By 90Min
February 19, 2018

The second batch of Champions League knockout matches kick off on Tuesday night, with German champions Bayern Munich entertaining Besiktas at the Allianz Arena.

The Bavarians will have home advantage for the first leg after finishing as runners-up to Paris Saint-Germain in the group stages, despite winning five out of their six games.

Bayern are on a terrific run of domestic form, having won 15 out of their last 16 matches in all competitions. They come into Tuesday's fixture fresh off the back of a scintillating comeback against former Bundesliga champions Wolfsburg, where Robert Lewandowski netted an injury-time penalty to earn a 2-1 win.

Besiktas meanwhile have been the surprise package of this season's competition, with Şenol Güneş' side going unbeaten in topping Group G.

The 15-time Turkish champions have struggled to replicate their form domestically though, currently trailing table toppers Istanbul Basaksehir by five points. Despite that, they have only lost four times this season in competitive matches, and will go into the clash at the Allianz Arena confident of securing a decent result.

These two teams have only met once before in Europe's premier competition, with Bayern emerging as 2-0 victors on both occasions.


Classic Encounter

Bayern hosted Besiktas in the group stage of the 1997/98 competition, with Giovanni Trapattoni's side looking to get their campaign off to a positive start.

The Bavarians boasted a squad full of internationals, with Lother Matthaus and Oliver Kahn among the dressing room leaders keen to take their talented squad to the next level.

The home side took the lead early on, punishing some slack defending from a side managed by former Real Madrid manager John Toshack. Thomas Helmer latched on to Dietmar Hamann's pass in just the third minute, before slotting past Besiktas keeper Fevzi Tuncay.

The home side pressed for a second, with Giovane Elber and Mehmet Scholl both guilty of wasting opportunities for the home side, before their persistence was eventually rewarded with a second from Mario Basler.

Trappattoni's side held on to win 2-0, in a season where they would reach the quarter-finals before being eliminated by domestic rivals Borussia Dortmund.


Recent Form

Jupp Heynckes' side have hit cruise control after another season of domestic dominance. They lead nearest challengers Dortmund by a staggering 19 points, failing to win just four of their 23 Bundesliga matches.

Polish striker Robert Lewandowski continues to dominate defenses week in and week out, with the 29-year old approaching 100 Bundesliga goals for the club in just over three-and-a-half seasons in Bavaria,

Lewandowski has 20 strikes to his name this campaign, and recently equaled manager Jupp Heynckes' goalscoring record of netting in 11 consecutive Bundesliga home games.

Besiktas are in still in touch with Turkish Super Liga leaders Istanbul Basaksehir, though they face stiff competition in chasing down the leaders from rivals Galatasaray and Fenerbache. They have won nine times in their last 14 outings in all competitions, losing only twice in the process.

Leading scorer Cenk Tosun has departed for Premier League side Everton in recent times though, with former Manchester City striker Alvaro Negredo taking up the mantle of leading their European assault.


Team News

Bayern opted to rest a number of players ahead this Tuesday's clash, though their slightly depleted side still had enough quality to see off Wolfsburg on Saturday.

Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer is Bayern's only injury casualty, meaning manager Jupp Heynckes has an abundance of talent available to play.

Lewandowski, Muller and James Rodriguez were among the players rested, as were Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels and David Alaba. They should all come back into the starting line-up, though the impressive form of Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben could give the Bayern boss somewhat of a selection headache.

Besiktas defender Pepe is in line to make his 95th appearance in the Champions League, as the Portuguese stalwart continues his impressive run of games at the highest level.

Ricardo Quaresma was rested at the weekend, and should return to the starting line-up in place of former Sunderland winger Jeremain Lens. Ex-Liverpool ace Ryan Babel could feature from the start, as the Dutch international looks to put painful memories of the 4-0 and 7-1 defeats suffered during his stint at Bundesliga club Hoffenheim behind him.

Predicted Bayern Lineup: Neuer, Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Alaba, Martinez, Vidal, James, Robben, Muller, Lewandowski

Predicted Besiktas Lineup: Fabri, Gokhan Gonul, Pepe, Medel, Adriano, Hutchinson, Oguzhan, Quaresma, Talisca, Babel, Vagner Love


Prediction

Bayern will be strong favorites for this one, with their impressive goalscoring form sure to be of significant concern to Besiktas boss Şenol Güneş.

The Bavarians will look to put the game out of sight with a commanding performance in front of their own fans, and with their players well rested ahead of the game, stand a strong chance of doing just that.

Besiktas will be hopeful of grabbing an away goal, but can expect to surrender a large chunk of possession and territory. Even if they do score, it is unlikely to garner a positive result on the night.

Prediction: Bayern Munich 4-1 Besiktas

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