Beşiktaş and Wolverhampton Wanderers are both looking to put their first Group K points on the board in Istanbul.
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Beşiktaş and Wolverhampton Wanderers are both looking to put their first points on the board in Group K as they meet in Istanbul, surprise defeats having befallen both clubs on matchday one.
• Wolves' group stage debut did not go to plan as they were beaten 1-0 at home by Braga, while Beşiktaş surrendered a half-time lead and conceded twice in added time to lose 4-2 at Slovan Bratislava.
• This is the first time Wolves have come up against a Turkish club in UEFA competition.
• Beşiktaş, on the other hand, have played 20 matches against English clubs. They have won only six (D5 L9) but at home (W4 D4 L3) they have recorded victories in all three of their UEFA Europa League encounters, the most recent of which, 1-0 against Liverpool in the 2014/15 round of 32, preceded a 5-4 victory on penalties.
• Third in the 2018/19 Turkish Süper Lig, Beşiktaş's reward was direct access to the UEFA Europa League group stage; they also participated last season, failing to reach the round of 32.
• This is the Istanbul club's sixth participation in the UEFA Europa League group stage, from which they have qualified three times but come up short on each of the last two occasions. Their best season in the competition came in 2016/17 when, after finishing third in their UEFA Champions League group, they went on to reach the quarter-finals, where they succumbed on penalties to Lyon.
• Beşiktaş's 31 matches in the UEFA Europa League group stage have yielded 15 wins, eight draws and eight defeats. In Istanbul their record is W9 D3 L3, with two of those defeats having occurred in their last two home games last season – 2-4 to Genk on matchday three and, decisively, 0-1 to Malmö on matchday six.
• In their first season after promotion to the Premier League, Wolves finished seventh in 2018/19 to qualify for European competition for the first time since they lost in the 1980/81 UEFA Cup first round to PSV Eindhoven.
• The West Midlanders' best European experience by some distance came in the inaugural UEFA Cup of 1971/72, when they went all the way to the final before losing 3-2 on aggregate to English rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
• Wolves won all six of their qualifying matches this season, ousting Crusaders of Northern Ireland, Pyunik of Armenia and, in the play-offs, Torino. They scored ten goals in the three away games, conceding just two.
Links and trivia
• Beşiktaş defender Rebocho has played for Portugal's Under-21s alongside Wolves' Rúben Neves and Diogo Jota.
• Douglas (Beşiktaş) was a Benfica team-mate of Wolves striker Raúl Jiménez in 2017/18.
• Two Beşiktaş players are currently on loan from English clubs – Loris Karius (Liverpool) and Mohamed Elneny (Arsenal). Another, Georges-Kévin Nkoudou, joined in a permanent deal from Tottenham this summer.
• With 54 and 52 UEFA Europa League appearances respectively, Beşiktaş duo Jeremain Lens and Víctor Ruiz are among only seven players to have passed the competition's half-century mark.
• Wolves are the third English club to visit the Beşiktaş Park this season, Liverpool and Chelsea having contested the UEFA Super Cup there in August.
• Wolves are one of six UEFA Europa League group stage debutants this season; the others are Espanyol, Ferencváros, Olexandriya and two Austrian clubs, LASK and Wolfsberg.
• Appointed by Beşiktaş on a three-year contract in May 2019 to replace Şenol Güneş, who had left to take charge of the Turkish national side, Abdullah Avcı moved across the city having just led İstanbul Başakşehir to a runners-up spot in the Süper Lig. That ended the second of his two five-year spells with the club, which was preceded by an unsuccessful two-year sojourn in charge of the Turkish national side. He had previously led the country to victory in the 2005 UEFA European Under-17 Championship in Italy.
• A former goalkeeper who was in Portugal's UEFA EURO 2008 squad but never won a senior cap, Nuno Espírito Santo was mostly a back-up during his playing career but as a manager he is very much at the forefront, having emerged as a studious, progressive coach during spells at Valencia, Porto and, since May 2017, Wolves. He first made his mark by taking Portuguese provincial club Rio Ave to two cup finals and into Europe before shining in Spain during an 18-month stint at Mestalla. He led Wolves into the Premier League in his first season and into the UEFA Europa League in his second.