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Besiktas Face Injury Crisis Ahead of Liverpool Match

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With the second leg on Thursday, Liverpool's hopes of advancing in the Europa League should be boosted by news the Turkish side's two best players are carrying injuries.

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With 22 goals for in all competitions, if Besiktas could be said to be a one-man team, that man would be Demba Ba, who after looking off the pace in the first leg of their Round of 32 tie with Liverpool was forced to sit out on the weekend with a calf injury. He is expected to return to training on Wednesday and to take part in Thursday’s match, but as in the first leg, he is not expected to be completely fit.

Given Ba appeared hindered by the injury in the first leg, this is far from positive news for Besiktas. But things have today gotten even worse for the Turkish club, because while Ba is clearly their most potent scoring threat, if Besiktas could be said to be a two-man team that second man would be rising star Gokhan Tore. And now it has been revealed that Tore is also carrying an injury, one picked up late in the first leg against Liverpool.

"He picked up a knock to his left ankle in the Liverpool match," Besiktas’ team doctor told the Super Lig club’s official website today. "He does not have a lot of time to recover, but we are doing everything we can to get him ready in time for the Liverpool game. He missed training today but we will be doing everything possible to make sure he’s fit for Thursday."

If the injured Ba looked off the pace in the first leg, Tore lived up to the hype and then some, looking consistently dangerous and by far Besiktas’ best player on the night. Both he and Ba will be expected in the lineup, but with neither expected fully fit it leaves the Turkish side in a difficult position, desperately needing some of their other players to step up with their two attacking stars hobbled.