Beşiktaş v Liverpool background

Liverpool FC have – to put it mildly – fond memories of the Atatürk Olimpiyat Stadium, but opponents Beşiktaş JK are unbeaten in three home matches against English opposition.

Liverpool celebrate their 2005 UEFA Champions League win at the Atatürk Olimpiyat Stadium
Liverpool celebrate their 2005 UEFA Champions League win at the Atatürk Olimpiyat Stadium ©Getty Images

Liverpool FC walked away as UEFA Champions League winners the last time they played at the Atatürk Olimpiyat Stadium – their task this time around is to see off Beşiktaş JK and qualify for the UEFA Europa League round of 16.

Previous meetings
Liverpool won the first leg at Anfield thanks to Mario Balotelli's 85th-minute penalty.

• The sides also met in the 2007/08 UEFA Champions League group stage, with Ertuğrul Sağlam's Beşiktaş beating the Reds 2-1 in Istanbul before crashing 8-0 to Rafael Benítez's men at Anfield; it remains Beşiktaş's heaviest European defeat, and indeed the heaviest loss suffered by any club in the UEFA Champions League (group stage to final).

• The teams for the Istanbul game on 24 October 2007 were:
Beşiktaş: Hakan Arıkan, Serdar Kurtuluş* (Koray Avcı 42), Matías Delgado (Higuaín 62), Bobô (Diatta 86), Tello, Cissé, İbrahim Üzülmez, Serdar Özkan, Ali Tandoğan, İbrahim Toraman.
Liverpool: Reina, Finnan, Hyypiä (Crouch 83), Riise, Gerrard*, Voronin, Pennant (Benayoun 59), Kuyt, Babel, Mascherano (Lucas 76), Carragher.

*registered to play for the club in this season's competition

Form guide
Beşiktaş are unbeaten in three home matches against English sides (W2 D1), and have already taken on English opponents this season, drawing 1-1 away and winning 1-0 at home against Tottenham Hotspur FC in the UEFA Europa League group stage and losing 1-0 on aggregate to Arsenal FC in the UEFA Champions League play-offs.

Liverpool have won only once in five away games against Turkish sides, but have good reason to remember Istanbul fondly, having won the 2005 UEFA Champions League final on penalties following a 3-3 draw with AC Milan at the Atatürk Olimpiyat Stadium.

Beşiktaş are unbeaten in six European home games (W4 D2); Liverpool are without a win in four away from home (D1 L3).

Liverpool went out to FC Zenit (on away goals) in their last round of 32 tie in 2012/13.

Trivia and links
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard may be playing his final UEFA club competition campaign having agreed to leave for LA Galaxy in the summer.

Beşiktaş striker Demba Ba knows English football well from his time with West Ham United FC, Newcastle United FC and Chelsea FC. He scored twice in five matches against Liverpool (W3 D1 L1).

Beşiktaş winger Kerim Koyunlu also appeared in the English leagues with Fulham FC and Cardiff City AFC, tasting both victory and defeat against Liverpool.

Liverpool's Emre Can and Samed Yeşil are both German players of Turkish extraction.

Liverpool (1973, 1976 and 2001) are among 11 former UEFA Cup or UEFA Europa League winners in the round of 32. They are also among six last-32 contenders to have won the European Cup or UEFA Champions League.

The coaches
Beşiktaş coach since June 2013, Slaven Bilić earned a bronze medal as a defender with Croatia at the 1998 FIFA World Cup, and went on to lead his country to UEFA EURO 2008 and UEFA EURO 2012 as a coach. A rock music fan with a law degree, he was at the FC Lokomotiv Moskva helm before heading to Turkey.

• Bilić played for Liverpool's local rivals Everton FC from 1997–99.

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers' professional playing career was over by the age of 20, a knee condition forcing the Northern Irish defender to move into coaching, where he initially worked in Reading FC's academy. He managed Watford FC and Reading before steering Swansea City AFC into the Premier League, and has been in charge at Anfield since June 2012.

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