Saints vs Beşiktaş: Preview

By SFC Media time Sat 27 Jul Club

The First Team rounds off its European training camp this evening as Saints take on Turkish side Beşiktaş J.K. at the Stadion Villach Lind.

This is the squad's 16th day away from England, with tonight's game rounding off a successful trip that saw them first spend time in Spain before relocating to their current base in Austria.

Having seen his side comfortably win both of their games in Catalonia before losing narrowly to German side FC Schalke 04 three days ago, Mauricio Pochettino will hope to end the training camp on a high with a positive work-out this evening.

Like Wednesday's game against Schalke, tonight's match takes place at the Stadion Lind in Villach, although kick-off is half-an-hour later at 6.30pm CET/5.30pm BST.

Pochettino should have Guly available again after a minor injury ruled him out of the last game, but Nathaniel Clyne is a doubt. Maya Yoshida and Gastón Ramírez have stepped up their training programmes but are unlikely to feature.

Istanbul-based Beşiktaş Jimnastik Kulübü boast a rich history, having won the Turkish Süper Lig 13 times, with their most recent league title coming in 2008/09. 

Kara Kartallar – the Black Eagles – also won the Turkish Cup for the ninth time that season, and have also lifted the Turkish Super Cup on eight occasions.

Beşiktaş side finished the 2012/13 season third in the Süper Lig to seemingly seal a spot in the Europa League for the coming campaign, only to be suspended from European competitions by UEFA due to financial problems.

The coming season will be their first under former Croatia manager and West Ham defender Slaven Bilic, who took over at the end of last month.

Beşiktaş's current squad includes former Arsenal youngster Oğuzhan Özyakup, ex-Chelsea trainee Gökhan Töre and Turkish national team defender Ibrahim Toraman.

Also in their ranks is former Portsmouth and Everton loanee Manuel Fernandes, who currently captains the Kara Kartallar.

The Black Eagles' pre-season schedule began with a one-nil defeat to German side St. Pauli on 12th July, then a loss by the same scoreline to Queens Park Rangers at the Stadion Villach Lind nine days ago.

Beşiktaş returned to Villach last Saturday to take on Schalke, with the two sides playing out a one-all draw before Bilic's side defeated Azerbaijani outfit Simurq by two goals to one in the Austrian town of Lienz on Wednesday.

The Turkish club are based in Austria until 2nd August, with the new Süper Lig season kicking off 15 days later.

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