Besiktas v Tottenham: Advantage Spurs in battle for top spot

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Besiktas and Tottenham will do battle in Istanbul for top spot in UEFA Europa League Group C on matchday six.

Both teams qualified for the knockout stages last time out thanks a draw with Asteras Tripolis and victory over Partizan Belgrade respectively.

A two-point advantage at the summit means Tottenham only need to prolong their 18-match unbeaten run in Europa League group matches to top the section, while Besiktas must go one better than the 1-1 draw they secured at White Hart Lane in the reverse fixture.

Demba Ba's late penalty ensured it ended honours even in north London, although he is expected to miss out with a toe injury this time around - a significant blow for coach Slaven Bilic as the former Newcastle United and Chelsea striker has scored nine goals in a six-match scoring streak.

Canadian midfielder Atiba Hutchinson is definitely missing for the Turkish outfit following his two bookings as Asteras came back from 2-0 down to hand Tottenham the initiative in the group.

Mauricio Pochettino welcomes back Federico Fazio from suspension but knocks mean fellow defenders Vlad Chiriches and Kyle Naughton are doubtful.

Naughton's fitness could provide an opening for Kyle Walker to end nine months away from first-team action. The England right-back played for Tottenham's Under-21 team last week following his lengthy lay-off with an abdominal problem.

Pochettino has shuffled his line-up throughout this season's Europa League and is likely to do so again after stating the Premier League's scheduling does little to help teams competing in the competition.

"We do not feel the Premier League helps us," he said, as quoted by the London Evening Standard. 

"When we play Thursday in Istanbul, we will arrive home very late and then have a trip to Swansea. It is very difficult to prepare with one less recovery day. 

"If we had one more day, maybe if we played on the Monday, then it would help and it would help the football as well.

"It would help us put on more of a spectacle, more of a show.

"The best period for the recovery of a player is after a Champions League game. It is in the opposite way after the Europa League and it is difficult  to manage."

Despite their domination of Group C, each team has had contrasting campaigns domestically to date.

Tottenham maintained their stuttering form in the Premier League - they are yet to win three consecutive games in the English top flight this term - with a goalless draw at home to Crystal Palace at the weekend.

Besiktas lie top of the Turkish Super Lig having kept their noses in front of Galatasaray and defending champions Fenerbahce with a 3-0 win over Trabzonspor on Sunday.