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Match Reports
Preview Pack - Besiktas v Spurs - 19.10.06

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Spurs record in Europe:-

European Cup

P   W   D   L   F - A
8   4   1   3  21 - 13

(Semi-Finalists 1962)

European Cup Winners Cup

P   W   D   L   F - A
33  20  5   8  65 - 34

(Winners 1963)

P   w   D   L   F - A
60  37 13  10  135- 42 

(Winners 1972, 1984
 Finalists 1974)

P    W   D   L   F - A
101 61  19  21  221- 89

Besiktas was actually the first football club to be established in Turkey, formally established in 1910. They have the nickname "The Black Eagles" - given to them after a brave performance against local rivals Fenerbahce, in June 1933, when a win was needed to win the Istanbul Amateur League. Besiktas were wearing black as they were mourning the passing of their founder Seref Bey. The match ended in a goalless draw, but Besiktas were christened that day with their nickname.

One time Spurs striker Les Ferdinand had a short period on loan from QPR at Besiktas in the 1988-89 season, when he scored 14 goals in 24 league games. Les spent six more seasons at Loftus Road, before he was signed by Newcastle, where he is idolised to this day.

Besiktas qualified for this year's UEFA Cup after winning the Turkish Cup competition. They also finished third in their league ("1. Super Lig"), behind Galatasaray and Fenerbahce. Currently, they are sitting third in the table after Sunday's 1-0 win at home to Gendclerbirligi, who are just in the lower half of the League. Besiktas's goal was scored by central defender Zan Gokhan, who now has three goals to his name this season. There is another Gokhan (Gulec), who plays in midfield, and has scored twice this term.

Whilst most of the team are home-based players, there are several Brazilians in the Besiktas squad, including Bobo - also a goal threat - and 30 year old Ricardinho, once on loan at Middlesbrough in the 2003/4 season. Jose Kleberson, once at Manchester United, is another of the Brazilian contingent. The Besiktas manager is a familiar figure of course - Jean Tigana, once of Fulham. I wonder if he is still chewing cocktail sticks, or whether he is on Turkish tobacco?

Besiktas qualified for this group stage by beating CSKA Sofia in Round One, winning 2-0 at home and drawing 2-2 in Sofia.

Here is Besiktas' recent record:-

Pos  P   W   D   L   F-A  GD PTS
3    9   5   1   3  13-9  4   16
They have not failed to score in a home game, and lost only one home game (in the league) to Trabzonspor by 3 goals to 2.

The capacity of the stadium is 28,000, and those Spurs fans attending can be expected to be drowned out by a phenomenal crowd noise. I am sure the atmosphere will be intimidating to say the least, judging by some of the Turkish fans' invasions of Spurs message boards. I understand that around 1000 Spurs fans will be making the trip, so I wish them well on our behalf. Have a safe journey, and a fruitful result!

The ideal for Martin Jol's men will surely be to get an early goal and quieten the crowd. A draw would be an excellent result at this venue. To that end, there is plenty of good news for Martin Jol, regarding his selection. Ledley King and Michael Dawson are fit, so it looks like we will have our first choice defence in place. Hossam Ghaly is doubtful, with a hamstring problem. I have yet to see or hear of a finalised squad.

I am sure that Spurs will seek to keep a clean sheet, and play a solid game, with the midfield perhaps reflecting the need for a more defensive attitute. That could mean a chance for Tom Huddlestone to feature.

I'll go for a 0-0, and as you may have gathered, I am not travelling to this game, but will compile a report from a TV perspective.


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