RB Leipzig vs Besiktas: Preview, Team News, Lineup, and Prediction
German side RB Leipzig’s first ever European campaign might not be going as the fan’s expectations. But they still have a good chance to qualify for the next round when they host group winners Besiktas in the must-win match at Red Bull Arena.
Portuguese league leaders Porto will host the French champions Monaco in the last group match of the Champions League. One of the group favorites Monaco are already all out from the European competitions this season.
RB Leipzig have collected seven points from five matches. The 2004 Champions League winners, Porto also have seven points but are in better position in head to head.
If the hosts lose against the Turkish champions on Wednesday, then Ralph Hasenhüttl’s side will be playing the Europa League in February 2018. Even a win will not be enough for RB Leipzig to secure their place in the round of 16 if Porto beat Monaco on the same night.
Currently second in the Bundesliga with 29 points, Leipzig would want to get all three points against the Turkish league leaders. And at the same time, they’ll be praying for Monaco to snatch at least a point from Porto. RB Leipzig faced the humiliating 4-0 defeat against Hoffenheim in their last Bundesliga match.
Besiktas have already won the group with one match to play. They have 11 points from the five matches and are four points better than the second-placed Porto. Senol Gunes’ side beat their league rivals Galatasaray by 3-0 in their last league outing on Saturday.
The last meeting between finished 2-0 to the Istanbul side at Vodaphone Arena. Former Liverpool winger Ryan Babel and on-loan player Anderson Talisca hit the net for the home side. Although the scoreline was convincing for Besiktas, they had a hard time as Leipzig were chasing the score creating many chances but failed to hit the target.
Leipzig winger Marcel Sabitzer will miss the last group match on Wednesday after picking the shoulder injury during the last Champions League outing against Monaco. The Austrian was forced to go off the field in the 35th minute of the game.
Center-back Dayot Upamecano might be doubtful for the clash with the hamstring problem picked during the league game against Hoffenheim. Swedish international Emil Forsberg is also doubtful for the game.
Austrian central midfielder Veli Kavlak and Turkish center-back Atinc Nukan are yet to make a single appearance this season. Kavlak is out with the shoulder injury. Whereas Nukan has ruptured his cruciate ligament before the season.
RB Leipzig (4-2-2-2)
Bernardo (RB), Upamecano (CB), Orban (CB), Halstenberg (LB)
Demme (DM), Keita (CM)
Kampl (CM), Forsberg (CAM)
Poulsen (FW), Werner (FW)
Gönül (RB), Pepe (CB), Tosic (CB), Adriano (LB)
Hutchinson (CM), Arslan (CM)
Quaresma (RW), Özyakup (CAM), Babel (LW)
As the must-win fixture for Ralph Hasenhüttl, he would want his players to start the game with the high energy and try to score as soon as possible. Leipzig’s German striker Timo Werner has scored 11 goals this season including three in the Champions League. Besiktas will be aware enough of the Germany’s young sensation.
If midfielder Naby Keita performs his natural game alongside Diego Demme, then it will be hard for the visitors to have much possession as they want. But Besiktas and Senol Gunes will be much more comfortable zone than Leipzig as already qualified. We can expect a cracking European game at Red Bull Arena on Wednesday.
Our Prediction: Leipzig 2-1 Besiktas