Croatia’s favorite manager from the past decade, Slaven Bilić, faces his toughest test at club level when he takes his Besiktas side into battle against English power Arsenal FC. The winner of the two-legged Champions League playoff tie will make the group stage while the losers drop to the Europa League group stage. Bilić pulled off two remarkable victories when he was in charge of the Vatreni: defeating England 3-2 at Wembley in 2007 to oust them from Euro 2008 and then defeating Germany 2-1 that summer to win the group and get Croatia out of group stage for the first time since 1998.
If Bilić were to get Besiktas past mighty Arsenal, it would surely move him up the European ranks. He is sure to manage Croatia once again in his career. But what will he accomplish in the mean time?
The matches take place August 19th and 27th.