Liverpool will have to overcome a tricky away trip to progress to Europa League last 16 when they travel to Turkey to face Besiktas in the second leg of their last 32 clash on Thursday.
Besiktas have performed well in this competition on home turf so far this campaign winning two and drawing one at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium with this form seeing them finish of group C ahead of Tottenham Hotspur. However confidence will be low in the Besiktas with that narrow 1-0 defeat at Anfield the previous week and another 1-0 defeat Eskisehirspor at the weekend.
Brendan Rodgers will be confident that they can get something from this match on their first return to the Ataturk Olympic Stadium since that famous night back in 2005 and the Northern Irishman will be hoping some of the spirit of Istanbul will rub off on his current side. They currently hold the advantage in this match with a single Mario Balotelli penalty the only thing separating the sides, they managed an impressive 2-0 victory over Southampton at the weekend which has reinforced their top-four credentials and will continue that good form.
Slaven Bilic has a significant number of absentees going into this fixture with; Ismail Köybaşı, Tolga Zengin, Alexander Milosevic and Cenk Tosun all side-lined with injury. They are joined on the side-lines by both Ersan Gulum and Ramon who are missing through suspension. The creation coach will be forced into a makeshift defence with Necip Usyal likely to partner Pedro Franco in the heart of defence.
Rodgers will be without defender Jon Flanagan through injury and midfielder Lazar Markovic as he continues to serve his suspension. He will also be sweating over the fitness over the quintet of; Steven Gerrard, Bradley Jones, Lucas Leiva, Mamadou Sakho and Jose Enrique. Dejan Lovren is likely to start in place of Sakho and youngster Jordon Ibe will be expected to keep his place on the right flank.
Written by Danial Kennedy [@danialkennedy95]