Beşiktaş and Genk are both aiming to get back on track after matchday two defeats that have left Group I finely poised.
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Beşiktaş and Genk are locked together with identical records as they come face to face on matchday three of UEFA Europa League Group I.
• Both clubs won their opening home games – Beşiktaş 3-1 against Sarpsborg, Genk 2-0 against Malmö – before losing in Scandinavia on matchday two, the Turkish side going down 2-0 to Malmö in Sweden and the Belgian club falling to a 3-1 defeat in Norway.
• This is the first UEFA encounter between the clubs and Genk's first experience of Turkish opposition.
• Beşiktaş were unbeaten in four matches against Belgian clubs, winning two of the three matches in Istanbul, until their most recent tie, losing both legs to Club Brugge in the 2014/15 UEFA Europa League round of 16 (1-2 away, 1-3 home).
• Bidding for a hat-trick of Turkish titles, Beşiktaş could only finish fourth in the 2017/18 Süper Lig, which earned them a berth in the UEFA Europa League second qualifying round. They saw off B36, LASK and, in the play-offs, Partizan to reach the group stage.
• Beşiktaş are back in the UEFA Europa League after a season's absence, during which they reached the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League as group winners. They have progressed from their group three times out of four in the UEFA Europa League, though the one failure came on their most recent appearance, in 2015/16. They reached the quarter-finals of the competition the following season after switching over from the UEFA Champions League in mid-campaign.
• The Istanbul club's only defeat in their last 17 European home matches (W9 D7) came in last season's UEFA Champions League round of 16 against Bayern München (1-3). They have won all of their last eight at home in the UEFA Europa League, qualifying included, scoring 23 goals.
• Fourth in the Belgian First Division A last term and also runners-up in the domestic cup, Genk's European prize was a UEFA Europa League second qualifying round berth. They sailed through their opening tie against Luxembourg's Fola Esch, 9-1 on aggregate (5-0 home, 4-1 away), before also winning both legs against Lech Poznań and Brøndby to make it six wins out of six with 22 goals scored.
• Genk have a perfect qualifying record from the UEFA Europa League group stage, having progressed to the knockout phase on each of their previous three participations, in 2012/13, 2013/14 and 2016/17. They reached the quarter-finals of the latter campaign, defeating fellow Belgian club Gent in the round of 16.
• Genk had won all seven European matches this term, including three away, until the defeat at Sarpsborg last time out. They have won five of their last eight European games on the road, losing only twice during that run, the other occasion at Celta Vigo (2-3) in the 2016/17 UEFA Europa League quarter-finals. Their overall away record in the UEFA Europa League group stage is W4 D3 L3.
Links and trivia
• Genk coach Philippe Clement played for Club Brugge in a UEFA Cup group stage defeat (1-2) at Beşiktaş in November 2006, breaking a toe during the match.
• Jeremain Lens, who scored Beşiktaş's third goal in the win against Sarpsborg, became only the third player to make 50 appearances in the UEFA Europa League, group stage to final, against Malmö on matchday two. The Dutchman has previously featured in the competition for PSV Eindhoven, Dynamo Kyiv and Fenerbahçe.
• Tanzanian striker Mbwana Samatta's tally of six goals for Genk in this season's UEFA Europa League qualifying phase was bettered by only two players – Aedeleke Akinyemi of Ventspils and Eirik Hestad of Molde, who both scored seven. Samatta also found the net in the matchday one win against Malmö.
• Beşiktaş coach Şenol Güneş famously guided Turkey to third place at the 2002 FIFA World Cup. A goalkeeper who spent the majority of his playing career at home-town Trabzonspor, a club he has returned to coach on three occasions – winning Turkish Cups in 1995 and 2010 – he led Beşiktaş to the 2015/16 Turkish title in his first season and subsequently took the Black Eagles to the 2016/17 UEFA Europa League quarter-finals and last term's UEFA Champions League round of 16 for the first time.
• A former Belgian international who represented his country at the 1998 FIFA World Cup and UEFA EURO 2000 and won 38 caps, Philippe Clement was a defensive midfielder and centre-back who spent most of his career with Club Brugge, completing a decade at the club following a short spell in England with Coventry. He had made his Belgian top-flight debut with Genk, and it was to the Limburg club that he returned in December 2017 to become head coach following a six-month stint at Waasland-Beveren.