Beşiktaş JK meet Arsenal FC for the first time in a competitive UEFA match hoping to block the Gunners' path to a 17th successive UEFA Champions League group stage.
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Beşiktaş JK will look to extend their good home record in UEFA qualifying phases against Arsenal FC, who have only missed out on six group stages since the European Cup became the UEFA Champions League for the 1992/93 season.
• Beşiktaş's record in 14 games against English clubs is W4 D3 L7 (W2 D3 L3 at home, W2 D0 L4 in England). Those home games include a 2-0 UEFA Champions League loss to Chelsea FC staged in Gelsenkirchen in December 2003, because of concerns in the wake of a terrorist attack in Istanbul.
• Arsenal have yet to lose over 90 minutes against Turkish sides, conceding just twice in seven meetings: W4 D3 L0 (W2 D1 L0 at home, W2 D1 L0 in Istanbul). However, those games include the final of the 2000 UEFA Cup, which Arsène Wenger's Arsenal lost 4-1 on penalties to Galatasaray AŞ following 120 goalless minutes in Copenhagen.
• The last of Beşiktaş's five UEFA Champions League group stage campaigns was in 2009/10; Arsenal have featured in the last 16 UEFA Champions League group stages.
• Beşiktaş have won their last 12 home games in the qualifying phases of UEFA competitions since a 1-1 draw with Hapoel Haifa FC in the 1999/00 UEFA Champions League second qualifying round. Their aggregate score in those games has been 27-3.
• Arsenal have won all 12 of their previous UEFA Champions League play-off matches, eliminating GNK Dinamo Zagreb (2006/07), AC Sparta Praha (2007/08), FC Twente (2008/09), Celtic FC (2009/10), Udinese Calcio (2011/12) and Fenerbahçe SK (2013/14).
• Arsenal eliminated another Turkish side in last season's play-offs, beating Fenerbahçe SK 3-0 in Istanbul and 2-0 in London.
• Arsenal have scored eight goals in the course of their last two games in Istanbul.
Links and trivia
• Demba Ba, who scored a hat-trick on his first Beşiktaş start in the third qualifying round, struck twice against Arsenal on 29 December 2012 – when Newcastle United FC lost 7-3 in his last game before joining Chelsea FC.
• German-born Arsenal midfielder Mesut Özil is of Turkish extraction: his family are from a village in Zonguldak province in northern Turkey. This will be his first game against Turkish opponents in Arsenal colours; he took on Galatasaray AŞ in the 2012/13 UEFA Champions League with Real Madrid CF and also featured in a 3-0 home win against Turkey with the German national team in 2010.
• Beşiktaş midfielder Kerim Koyunlu played for Arsenal's London rivals Fulham FC from 2011 to 2013, featuring as a substitute in a 2-1 win and a 1-0 defeat against the Gunners.
• Beşiktaş's Croatian coach Slaven Bilić knows English football from his time as a player with another London side, West Ham United FC (1995–97) and Everton FC (1997–2000).