Besiktas star Ba wary of Liverpool threat

The Senegal international is not reading too much into the struggles of Brendan Rodgers’ men as he prepares to lead the Turkish giants to Anfield in February

Demba Ba has warned Besiktas against underestimating a floundering Liverpool in their Europa League last-32 tie.

Monday’s draw in Nyon paired the Turkish side against Brendan Rodgers’ struggling side, with the first leg set to take place at Anfield on February 19.

It will represent a return to Merseyside for Ba, who on his last visit in April made the most of a slip by Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard to help former club Chelsea win 2-0 and strike a fateful blow to Liverpool’s Premier League title hopes.

The Reds have been well off the pace in the title race this season and suffered a disappointing Champions League exit against Basel earlier this month after winning just one of their six group matches.

But striker Ba is adamant that Liverpool remain a serious threat and has called on Besiktas to make the most of playing away from home first.

“It’s a difficult pairing. Liverpool are having some hard times now,” he told Uefa’s official website. “They couldn’t get the results they desired and things are not going well for them. Hard games are ahead of us.

“They are a team which try to strike fast and build up the game as quickly as possible. Their technical capacity is high and they are physically strong.

“If we can snatch a good result in the first leg, it will be an advantage to be playing the second leg at home.”

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