Club Brugge v Beşiktaş preview

Unbeaten in 12 European games this term, Club Brugge KV are hoping to settle an old score as they take on Beşiktaş JK in the UEFA Europa League round of 16.

Club Brugge are unbeaten in 12 European games this season
Club Brugge are unbeaten in 12 European games this season ©AFP/Getty Images

Club Brugge KV can avenge a defeat from a few years back as they take on Beşiktaş JK in the opening leg of their UEFA Europa League round of 16 tie.

What they say
Michel Preud'homme, Club Brugge coach: "By my measure, Beşiktaş are a very big team. They beat Liverpool in their last game. They are a well organised team with a lot of quality, a team who can play a physical game as well as a skilful one; a team that has a strategy and a big coach behind it. [Slaven Bilić] is a coach after my own heart, someone who has fire and passion, and that's how his team plays. We face a very strong team and have a very tough task."

Beşiktaş coach Slaven Bilić: "We played well against big names, and that gives us confidence. But that is also tricky and dangerous to think, 'Oh we beat Liverpool, and now we also beat any other team'. So I tell my players if – only if – we can reach that level again, then we are able to beat most other teams. Brugge are not Liverpool or Spurs, but they are a very good team, they top their league, so chances are 50-50.  I was a big admirer of Michel Preud'homme when he was a goalkeeper. Mario Stanić played with him at Benfica and told me that from Monday until the game on Sunday he was totally focused on that game. He also does that as a coach now, he brings that energy to his team. I'm a big fan of him."

Previous meetings
• In the sides' only previous meeting, Jean Tigana's Beşiktaş beat Emilio Ferreira's Club Brugge 2-1 at the Black Eagles' old İnönü Stadium home in a 2006/07 UEFA Cup group stage game.

• The teams for that game on 29 November 2006 were:
Beşiktaş:
Runje, Serdar Kurtuluş*, Baki Mercimek, Mert Nobre (Mustafa Doğan 83), Kléberson (Bobô 60), Ricardinho, İbrahim Üzülmez, Ali Tandoğan, Koray Avcı, İbrahim Akin (Burak Yılmaz 60), İbrahim Toraman.
Club Brugge: Stijnen, Vermant, Clement, Englebert, Balaban, Blondel* (Daerden 72), Van Heerden, Gvozdenović, Pedersen, Ibrahim, Maertens (Chávez 84).

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

Form guide
Club Brugge's only previous Turkish visitors – Galatasaray AŞ – were beaten 3-1 in a 2002/03 UEFA Champions League first group stage fixture.

Beşiktaş are unbeaten in four games against Belgian sides (W2 D2), and drew 0-0 against FC Molenbeek Brussels Strombeek in their only previous game in Belgium.

• One of three sides to have progressed from the third qualifying round to the round of 16 (along with FC Dinamo Moskva and Torino FC), Club Brugge are unbeaten in 12 UEFA Europa League games this season (W9 D3).

Club Brugge are one of only three sides involved in this season's UEFA Europa League group stage to have made it this far without losing, along with FC Dinamo Moskva (W7 D1) and FC Internazionale Milano (W4 D4).

Club Brugge are in the round of 16 for the first time since the advent of the UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League group stages. The Belgian side have not reached the final stages of a UEFA tournament since they made it to the last four in the 1991/92 European Cup Winners' Cup, losing to SV Werder Bremen.

Beşiktaş bowed out to eventual winners Club Atlético de Madrid at this stage in 2011/12. The Black Eagles last made it to a quarter-final in the 2002/03 UEFA Cup, when they lost to SS Lazio on away goals.

Trivia and links
Beşiktaş forward Demba Ba played in Belgium for R. Excelsior Mouscron from 2006–07. He scored eight goals in 12 league games despite missing much of the campaign with a broken leg.

Beşiktaş midfielder José Sosa could make his 50th UEFA club competition appearance.

Club Brugge midfielder Sander Coopman turns 21 on the day of the first leg.

Beşiktaş's round of 32 shoot-out win against Liverpool FC was only the fifth (group stage to final) since the advent of the UEFA Europa League. It was the first, however, in which the winners converted all five of their spot kicks.

• Of the round of 16 contenders who started out in the group stage, Club Brugge and SSC Napoli have the best defensive records, conceding just three goals in eight games.

Club Brugge's Waldemar Sobota is one of six Polish nationals left in the competition who still have the chance of a dramatic homecoming when the UEFA Europa League final takes place in Warsaw on 27 May.

• The return leg falls on an auspicious date for Beşiktaş; 19 March marks the 112th anniversary of the club's foundation.

The coaches
• A goalkeeper for R. Standard de Liège, Mechelen, SL Benfica and Belgium, for whom he earned 58 caps, Michel Preud'homme has been in charge of Club Brugge since September 2013. As a coach, he has claimed league titles in Belgium (Standard, 2007/08) and Saudi Arabia (al-Shabab FC, 2011/12) in addition to the Belgian Cup (KAA Gent, 2009/10) and the Dutch Cup (FC Twente, 2010/11).

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.

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