Başakşehir out to break the Kadıköy jinx against Fenerbahçe
ISTANBULLast year’s runner-up Medipol Başakşehir will visit Fenerbahçe, another title contender, on Sept. 9 in the highlight game of the weekend at the Turkish Super League in a bid to break the jinx against its city rival.
The host, which made a bad start to the season before achieving its first win last week against Gençlerbirliği, has dominated all home games against Başakşehir so far, winning all the last eight games.
“We will play against a very valuable team,” Başakşehir coach Abdullah Avcı told state-run Anadolu Agency in an interview before the league resumes after FIFA 2018 qualification campaigns.
“Our seven players were with their national teams and now they are back. But we worked hard with the remaining players,” he said.
Fenerbahçe is looking for a breakthrough, Avcı said.
“We considered all the details, I hope it is going to be a good game,” he added.
The Canaries are a team still in the making under new coach Aykut Kocaman, a former striker and coach at the Istanbul club, and looking for ways to harmonize with its new players, including French attacker from Olympique Lyon Mathieu Valbuena and Spanish striker from Villareal Roberto Soldado, but it has already lost blood in the domestic campaign and has been knocked out of the Europa League due to a 4-1 aggregate loss against Macedonian underdog Vardar.
The team still had more to come on board before the summer transfer window closes on Sept. 8.
The club said in a statement on Sept. 7 that it shook hands to hire Vincent Janssen, the Dutch striker of Tottenham Hotspur, and he would sign an official contract.
Defending champion Beşiktaş, meanwhile, will visit Kardemir Karabükspor earlier in the day.
The injuries of two defenders, former Barcelona left-back Adriano Correia and right-back Gökhan Gönül, might cause trouble for coach Şenol Güneş, who also has in mind a Champions League group stage opener against Porto on Sept. 13.
The team has recently bid farewell to two other defenders, Colombian center-back Pedro Franco who went to second tier Boluspor on loan, and Andreas Beck, who joined VfB Stuttgart of Bundesliga.
Karabük chairman Hikmet Ferudun Tankut said they will do their best to achieve a win or a draw against “one of the best teams of the league.”
On Sept. 9, Sivasspor will host Kayserispor, and Atıker Konyaspor will take on Aytemiz Alanyaspor.
Galatarasaray, the league leader with three wins in the first three games, strengthened its cadre by signing Romanian defender Iasmin Latovlevici before it visits Antalyaspor on Sept. 10.
Galatasaray’s Brazilian midfielder Fernando Reges praised their young coach, Igor Tudor, before the game.
“He has a great potential and I believe that he will achieve big successes in his career,” he said.
Rumors that Antalya striker Samuel Eto’o might sign with Beşiktaş was still on the Turkish media ahead of the game.
Ankara’s Gençlerbirliği will visit a strong Trabzonspor on Sept. 10 as Osmanlıspor will take on Göztepe at home and Bursaspor will host Akhisar Belediye.
Kasımpaşa and Malatyaspor will clash in Istanbul on Sept. 11 in the closing game of the week.