Thursday, May 24, 2018

Prediction: Besiktas vs Bayern Munich


Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 8/15

Bookmaker: bet365

This tie is pretty much done and dusted after Bayern Munich recorded a 5-0 triumph in the first leg as Domagoj Vida’s early sending off changed the course of the game, but Besiktas will give their best to prove they deserve to be playing at this level with a solid performance against one of the candidates for the coveted trophy.

Besiktas

Just like other top sides in Turkish Super Lig, Besiktas have invested serious cash into the playing squad in recent years, and they are now reaping the rewards. The Super Eagles lifted the league trophy in style last term, pipping Instanbul Basaksehir, Fenerbahce and Galatasaray to the first place in the standings, and they ensured to make the most of this year’s Champions League campaign, finishing top of their group ahead of FC Porto, RB Leipzig and Monaco.

Even though top scorer Cenk Tosun was sold in January, Besiktas reinforced their front line with Vagner Lowe and Cyle Larin, but it is the trio of Ricardo Quaresma, Ryan Babel and Talisca that has had a key role to play in recent weeks. They helped the Super Eagles climb to second in the league standings thanks to three successive triumphs, but were unable to prove their worth at Allianz Arena, mostly because Domagoj Vida’s early red card gave the opposition a crucial advantage in the first leg. All that’s left now is to try and say goodbye to the competition with a convincing performance on home soil.

Team News

Croatian centre-back Domagoj Vida is obviously suspended for the return leg, while former Real Madrid stopper Pepe looks set to miss out with a toe injury.

Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich are still chasing the first Champions League trophy since 2013, but they are well positioned to launch a serious assault on the coveted title this season. Namely, the Bavarians enter the final stretch of the league campaign with a 20-point cushion, meaning they can now fully focus on their Champions League exploits. On top of that, they have already secured a quarter-final berth with an emphatic 5-0 victory in the first leg, so we could see boss Jupp Heynckes rest several key men in Istanbul.

While they were held by Hertha immediately after the Besiktas clash, Bayern Munich returned to the right track with 4-0 and 6-0 wins over Freiburg and Hamburger respectively, making sure the players are in the right frame of mind for the season finale. Having won last seven away matches in all competitions, the Bavarians head into the Besiktas game brimming with confidence, but they will not have an easy task given the quality of the opposition and hostile atmosphere at Vodafone Stadyumu.

Team News

Arjen Robben has not traveled to Istanbul as he has a minor injury, while Manuel Neuer, Kingsley Coman and Corentin Tolisso miss out as well.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Bayern Munich won last 7 away matches
  • The Bavarians scored 19 goals in the process
  • Besiktas unbeaten in last 8 UCL fixtures on home soil (W2 D6)
  • Both teams scored in six of those games
  • Besiktas scored 2 or more in 11 of last 12 home matches (W10 D2)

Conclusion

Besiktas have largely impressed on home soil of late and we fully expect the Super Eagles to cause problems to what should be severely weakened Bayern Munich side. The Bavarians should still have enough quality in their ranks to score a couple at Vodafone Stadyumu, so backing both teams to score seems like a reasonable thing to do.

Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 8/15

Bookmaker: bet365

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