Europa League: Liverpool vs Besiktas Preview

The Redmen could be up against it tonight...

Liverpool will be looking to avenge their early Champions League exit when they face Besiktas in the Euopa League round of 32 tonight. The Reds drew against Basel in their final group match in December, resigning them to third in Group B and a place in the Europa League. Brendan Rodgers' men won just one of their six group matches in the Champions League - a narrow victory over Bulgarian minnows Ludogorets - while Thursday's opponents Besiktas go into the game off the back of an impressive group stage campaign in the Europa. Slaven Bilic's side are unbeaten in this season's competition and topped a group involving Tottenham Hotspur. The Turks took four points from Spurs and also top the Turkish Super Lig, one point ahead of Fenerbahce. Despite this, Besiktas will be well aware of the result when the two sides last met; Liverpool ran out 8-0 winners at Anfield in the 2007/08 Champions League. Liverpool actually look rather unbeatable against Turkish opposition, winning the last three matches against opposition from there, scoring 11 and conceding just one. Tonight's game marks a return to Anfield for Demba Ba, who capitalised on THAT slip by Steven Gerrard to set Chelsea on the way to a famous 2-0 win last season, all but ending Liverpool's chances of winning the Premier League title. As well as playing against Tottenham in the group stages, Besiktas also faced Arsenal in Europe this season in the Champions League qualifying round. It goes without saying that they lost that two legged affair, going down 1-0 on aggregate. Liverpool forward Raheem Sterling faces a late fitness test on a foot problem and Lucas will also be missing for The Reds. Lazar Markovic begins a four-match ban for his sending off in his last European outing. Besiktas will be without the injured Ismail Koybasi (knee), Alexander Milosevic (foot) and goalkeeper Tolga Zengin (knee).
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Video & written Content Producer for WhatCulture Wrestling. NCTJ trained journalist. BA Hons, Sports Journalism.