Liverpool hoping for progression against Besiktas in Europa League
Liverpool take a slender 1-0 lead to Turkey in the second leg of the Europa League last 32 against Besiktas. The Reds are 11/8 with Coral for victory, while they are odds-on at 1/6 to progress.
Their hosts face a selection crisis, and not a good one. First choice goalkeeper Tolga Zengin out with a knee injury and top scorer Demba Ba is a major doubt with a calf problem. Adding to their woes is the fact that left back Ramon Motta and centre back Ersan Gulum will miss the game through suspension after picking up bookings in the first leg at Anfield.
Besiktas were knocked off the top of the league, following their defeat to the Reds, after they were shocked by mid-table side Eskisehirspor who beat them by the solitary goal.
“We expected that after playing a tough game at Liverpool,” said Bilic. “One may criticize the coach for the loss, but the player rotation is not why we lost.”
Mario Balotelli’s late penalty handed the Merseyside outfit the advantage for the second leg and the Italian striker is 7/4 to net anytime. The club also return to the Ataturk Stadium; a venue which holds a special place in the hearts of fans and all affiliated with Liverpool.
In 2005, captain Steven Gerrard inspired an incredible comeback to beat AC Milan on penalties in, arguably, the best ever Champions League final. It is a shame that the the 34-year-old will be unavailable for the tie, however, in Raheem Sterling, 6/4 anytime scorer and Adam Lallana, 7/2 in the same market they do have match winners.
Jordan Henderson and Philippe Coutinho are likely to be absent through injury for the Reds, while Lucas Leiva, Mamadou Sakho and Glen Johnson are also doubtful.
Daniel Sturridge, meanwhile, could make his mark in Europe this season and is 7/1 to dispatch two or more having looked impressive since he returned from a long injury lay-off.
For Besiktas, if indeed Ba is deemed fit enough, he is 11/2 to break the deadlock, while Gokhan Tore, who has hit three in the Europa League this term, is 7/2 to net anytime.