Demba Ba traveled to Liverpool with Besiktas, but an undisclosed injury could prevent the Turkish club from using its biggest gun at Anfield.
Besiktas coach Slaven Bilic told reporters Wednesday that Ba might not play against Liverpool in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League round of 32 series because of an injury. Bilic still is weighing whether to select Ba, Besiktas’ leading goal scorer, according to the Liverpool Echo.
“We are going to be ready,” Bilic said at his pregame press conference. “Demba is not major but it is big enough to stop him from playing and of course he is a key player for us, so we would be very happy if he can play.
“We aren’t going to be crazy and risk him, but we are going to try to get him playing.”
Ba has become a Turkish soccer star since joining Besiktas from Chelsea last summer. The Senegalese striker has scored 22 goals in 28 games this season, including five goals in four Europa League group-stage games.
Ba, 29, remains a villain at Anfield. His game winning goal in Chelsea’s 2-0 victory over Liverpool last April derailed the Reds’ title charge.
Ba told reporters he’s excited to write a new chapter in his adversarial relationship with Liverpool.
“The atmosphere at Anfield is going to be amazing as it always is,” Ba said at the same press conference. “I did my job against Liverpool last season, Gerrard was just unlucky, I did what I had to and hope to do the same this time around.”
Besiktas certainly will be without starting goalkeeper Tolga Zengin, left back Ismail Koybasi and center back Alexander Milosevic, who all are injured.
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@BetfairExchange
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