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Stoke find Beşiktaş on the brink

Beşiktaş JK are within sight of the UEFA Europa League round of 32, but must keep their nerve against Group F's top side, Stoke City FC, to hold off the threat of FC Dynamo Kyiv.

Beşiktaş coach Carlos Carvalhal celebrates with his players
Beşiktaş coach Carlos Carvalhal celebrates with his players ©Getty Images

Beşiktaş JK need only hold their nerve to join their English opponents, Stoke City FC, in the round of 32 as the top two in UEFA Europa League Group E meet in Istanbul.

• The Black Eagles lead third-ranked FC Dynamo Kyiv – who are at home against Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC – by three points entering the final day. They also boast a superior goal difference and have scored more goals than the Ukrainian side, though the teams have an identical head-to-head record.

Previous meetings
• Substitute Jon Walters' 77th-minute penalty earned Stoke a 2-1 win when these sides met for the first time on matchday two. Roberto Hilbert put the visitors ahead after 14 minutes but Peter Crouch equalised 60 seconds later. It was Stoke's first encounter with a Turkish club.

• Beşiktaş's record against English teams reads W3 D3 L7 (W1 D3 L2 in Istanbul).

Match background
• Beşiktaş have won their last three European home games, averaging three goals in each, since a 4-1 loss to Dynamo in last season's UEFA Europa League round of 32.

• Stoke are unbeaten in 11 European fixtures (seven wins and four draws) since a 4-0 loss at 1. FC Kaiserslautern on 27 September 1972. That remains their only loss in 13 matches on the European stage.

Team facts
• Beşiktaş need four more goals to reach 200 in UEFA club competition; this will be their 158th UEFA game.

• Beşiktaş's Ricardo Quaresma is now the most fouled player in the group stage, having been awarded 20 free-kicks.

• Stoke have been caught offside three times – the lowest total in the group stage.

• Beşiktaş midfielder Mehmet Aurélio celebrates his 34th birthday on the day after this game.

• Stoke striker Peter Crouch and midfielder Jermaine Pennant faced Beşiktaş with Liverpool FC in the 2007/08 UEFA Champions League group stage. Both players were in the side that lost 2-1 in Istanbul, but only Crouch featured in the return fixture, scoring twice in Liverpool's 8-0 win at Anfield.

• Portuguese coach Carlos Carvalhal has been put in temporary command at Beşiktaş with Tayfur Havutçu relieved of his duties for the moment. Carvalhal was once a defender for SC Braga and FC Porto among others, and his last post before coming to Istanbul was at Sporting Clube de Portugal in 2009/10.

• Stoke's Welsh manager Tony Pulis is making his continental coaching debut this season. Highly regarded for leading the Potters back into the Premier League, he has to look back several decades for his only previous involvement in European competition: he featured for Wales as a defender in seven International Youth Tournament games in 1975 and 1976.

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