European Record Will Shine Through For SpursStats
Tottenham v Besiktas
Turkish side, Besiktas, travel to White Hart Lane on Thursday where they face Tottenham who are favourites to gain all three points…
Tottenham kicked off life under new coach Mauricio Pochettini in fine style, winning their first four matches and qualifying easily for the Europa League. But a 3-0 home defeat to Liverpool precipitated a poor run of results, and they’ve only won one of their last six, a 3-1 win against Nottingham Forest in the Capital One Cup. In their opening Group C game, they were held 0-0 by FK Partisan in Serbia.
Besiktas started their season by beating Feyenord over two legs in a Champions League qualifier, but were knocked out by Arsenal in the next round. Following that disappointment, they’ve made a solid start to their Super Lig campaign, with two wins and two draws in four games, although their opening Europa League match saw them drop two points in a winnable home tie with Greek side Asteras.
Tottenham’s injury list is relatively short, with Kyle Walker the only long term absentee, but both Nabil Bentaleb and Danny Rose came off with knocks at the Emirates on Saturday and as Pochettini has a big squad to choose from he may rest both of them on Thursday. Nabil Bentaleb and Eric Dier are possible replacements, and Andros Townsend, who was on the bench at the weekend, could get a start
Besiktas manager Slaven Bilic is still missing defender Ersan Adem Gulum, but he has options up front. Former Chelsea striker Demba Ba is likely to lead the line and could partner Cenk Tosun, while Argentine midfielder Jose Ernesto Sosa, who came off the bench in the draw with Eskisehirspor at the weekend could start.
These sides have met once, back in 2006 in a Uefa Cup tie and it was Tottenham who were successful on that occasion, emerging from a tough away fixture in Turkey with a creditable 2-0 victory thanks to goals from Hossam Ghaly and Dimitar Berbatov.
Besiktas don’t have a bad record in England. They have won two of their five fixtures on English soil but they are up against a Spurs side with an excellent home record in Europe.
They’ve won ten of their last thirteen European ties at White Hart Lane and have lost just once, last year against Benfica.
Although Tottenham have not been picking up too many points, they are still adjusting to their new manager’s way of doing things and there were positive signs in their draw against Arsenal. They may lack players of the highest quality and are some way short of being a Champions League side but they can go deep in this competition.
Besiktas tend to keep things tight. Their last seven games in all competitions have produced just nine goals and they will see a draw in North London as a good result. Back Spurs to prevail narrowly, by one goal at 12/5 in the Winning Margin market.