Arsenal have been handed a far from plum draw in their bid to make a 17th successive Champions League group-stage.
The Gunners must travel to face a Besiktas side growing in stature, with former Chelsea man Demba Ba spearheading their attack.
It was a hat-trick from the Senegalese hitman that saw the Istanbul outfit progress to the final pre-group-stage round, comprehensively smiting Eredivisie runners-up Feyenoord 5-2 on aggregate.
Under the guidance of Slaven Bilic, Kara Kartallar were bested just three times following the turn of the year and are poised to put up a better fight than compatriots Fenerbahce did when they tackled the north Londoners at this stage of the competition 12 months ago.
Arsene Wenger’s side cruised to a 5-0 aggregate victory over the reigning Super Lig champions, effectively killing the tie with a 3-0 victory in the first-leg.
Their record against sides from this sovereignty is something that will inspire the Emirates club; they’ve never lost in 90 minutes to a foe hailing from Turkey in their history.
Seven have tried and failed, with the pair of goals Arsenal shipped in response to the 12 they’ve plundered coming in the same match – a 5-2 victory over Fenerbahce again, this time in 2008.
The Gunners have an even more impressive record when navigating the Champions League play-off stage too; the previous five first-leg fixtures they’ve participated in at this point have all ended in triumph.
What’s more is that they’ve supplemented each of these wins with clean sheets.
A combination of their record against Turkish teams and in the pre-tournament knockout fixtures makes Arsenal’s 19/20 for yet more first-leg glory well worth taking on.
Those who fancy a Besiktas upset can get paid out 14/5, while the draw is a 12/5 alternative.