Group B Kick-off 19-45 (BST)
Besiktas coach Mustafa Denizli believes tonight’s Group B meeting with Wolfsburg will be “the most valuable of all six games in the group”.
“Arguably, the Wolfsburg game is the most valuable of all six games in the group,” said Denizli. “I expect my side to exploit all the factors we can to bring success, with good finishing touches, defensive resistance and intelligence to move the ball closer to the opposition goal. We want to claim victory and continue in the competition – we proved we were capable of that during the game in Germany.
“It’s obvious how powerful and difficult an opponent we are at home. Our squad is large enough to comfortably field eleven in-form players under any conditions. I wish we had the missing players, though, as that would give us more alternatives: especially Nihat, Ibrahim Toraman and Ismail Koybası. Rustu and Tello are both doubtful. If they’re fine, I’ll name them in the match squad. Their absence is not the end of the world.
“Tomorrow’s match against Wolfsburg is a game that you cannot bounce back from. If we can settle into our game strategy, we’ll claim a positive result.
“We see Wolfsburg as a good team but not a big team. No one can say Besiktas gave a poor performance looking at the standings or at previous matches. We battled and showed ambition but just couldn’t get the right results.”
Currently second in the standings, the German side are three points ahead of the bottom-placed Turkish champions and their coach Armin Veh is confident his players will score goals despite the loss of suspended striker Grafite.
“Our problem is not up front,” he said. “You can see that from the goals we’ve scored. We have three strikers so if one is out of form, the others can cover for him. I’m more concerned about the defence, considering the goals we’ve conceded in the league.
“This tie is very important for Besiktas and I expect them to play more attacking football compared to the first match in Germany. I won’t take special measures in defence, but the midfielders will need to work more this time.
“Besiktas won the league and cup last season and this proves how strong they are. We know how passionate fans of Istanbul teams are and we’ll play accordingly.
“I don’t agree that collecting seven points would be enough to qualify from this group. Success in both the Champions League and Bundesliga is crucial for us.”