Bayern Munich manager not taking Besiktas lightly
Jupp Heynckes says Turkish side are full of experience and well organised defensively
Bayern Munich manager Jupp Heynckes at a press conference ahead of his side’s Champions League clash with Besiktas. Photograph: Jan Hetfleisch/Bongarts/Getty Images
Bayern Munich boss Jupp Heynckes has promised Besiktas will not be taken lightly in their Champions League clash.
The German champions appear to have received a favourable last-16 draw against opponents who are currently fourth in the Turkish Super Lig standings.
But Heynckes, speaking at his press conference before Tuesday’s first-leg tie at the Allianz Arena, said: “Besiktas are a team that can play football and it’s no surprise they are here.
“They won all three of their away matches in the group stage.
“They won’t hide, they like to play attacking football – if you let them.
“Besiktas are packed with international experience.
“They’re well organised defensively and know how to counter well, they will look for their chances.”
Bayern finished runners-up to Paris St Germain in their group, but they start as firm favourites to progress after beating Wolfsburg 2-1 on Saturday to register a 13th straight win across all competitions.
Heynckes rested James Rodriquez as Bayern maintained their 19-point Bundesliga lead, while regular starters Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels, Joshua Kimmich, Robert Lewandowski, David Alaba and Thomas Muller were all on the bench.
Spanish midfielder Thiago Alcantara returned from a three-month injury absence against Wolfsburg when substitute Lewandowski converted a last-minute penalty for his 27th goal of the season.
But Heynckes dismissed talk of rotation, saying: “I have no A or B team. We only have one Bayern team.
“Every player knows their position and understands each other, so I don’t think we have too many problems with rotation.
“There are far more benefits, because everyone feels important and stays fresh.
“It’s not easy, but I think the players are happy with how I have managed it so far.
“Now I hope my team puts on a top performance to lay the foundations for reaching the quarter-finals.”
Besiktas became the first Turkish side to top their Champions League group, and overcame German outfit RB Leipzig both home and away in remaining unbeaten.
But main striker Cenk Tosun, who scored four of their 11 goals in qualifying, joined Everton in January and Besiktas come into the tie on the back of being held by lowly Konyaspor last Friday.
They can, though, count on the experience of former Real Madrid defender Pepe – who will be making his 95th Champions League appearance – his fellow Portuguese veteran Ricardo Quaresma and Dutch striker Ryan Babel.
“This will be a tough test for us, but we want to push them as much as possible,” Besiktas’ former Turkey coach Senol Gunes told uefa.com.
“We have very good players and I just want to see what they can do, their skills and their characters.
“If we pass the test it will be fantastic, of course.”