Beşiktaş visits İzmir to remain in race

Beşiktaş visits İzmir to remain in race

ISTANBUL
Beşiktaş visits İzmir to remain in race

Istanbul’s Beşiktaş will pay a visit on Oct. 21 to Göztepe, the sole first-tier team from the Aegean province of İzmir, to remain in a tight race for the Super League.

The Black eagles will enjoy the return of its Croatian international defender Domagoj Vida to the line-up.

Serbian attacking midfielder Adem Ljajic will also be available despite a minor injury during training.

Beşiktaş’s biggest rivals are league leader Galatasaray and Başakşehir, which shares 15 points with the Black Eagles, according to Ljajic.

“Still, we have the best team and all depends on our performance,” he told Serbia’s Sport Klub.

Beşiktaş has to win to remain in the race following a 2-2 duel with Konyaspor last week, but Göztepe with 12 points is not an easy hurdle.

The red and yellows’ André Castro said they will be out to win.

“We play a powerful game at home and our fans play a key role in this,” he said.

Berkan Emir will replace defender Adama Traore, who was injured on Oct. 16 in a league game against Kasımpaşa and is likely to miss the season.

Istanbul giant Fenerbahçe, just one point above the relegation line with eight points in the first eight games, will visit Central Anatolia’s Sivasspor on Oct. 20.

The Istanbul side will miss injured Mehmet Topal.

Kasımpaşa, the third team with 15 points, will take on cellar dweller Akhisarspor early on Oct. 20, before Başakşehir hosts Kayserispor.

Başakşehir’s Arda Turan, on loan from Barcelona, is unlikely to appear following a bar fight and a gunshot incident on Oct. 10.

He is being accused of sexually harassing a woman before head-butting her pop singer husband at a nightclub.

He is also accused of firing a gun at the hospital where singer Berkay went for treatment.

Separately, the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office launched an investigation into footballers Arda, along with former Turkish internationals Emre Belözoğlu, Okan Buruk and Bülent Korkmaz, for his alleged links to FETÖ, the group widely believed to have been behind a 2016 coup attempt in Turkey, according to media reports.

Başakşehir has already fined Arda 2.5 million Turkish Liras (about 450,000 dollars) for “attitudes incompatible with the club’s values,” but announced that it will keep him as an active player until a court decision.

Arda was given a record amount of penalties by the Professional Football Disciplinary Board (PFDK) on May 10 over his assault on two referees.

On Oct. 21, Rizespor will play at home against Konyaspor as Alanyaspor and Antalyaspor, the two Mediterranean teams clash.

The Turkish capital’s Ankaragücü will host Malatyaspor at noon.

In the closing game of the week on Oct. 22, Erzurumspor will visit Black Sea giant Trabzonspor.

Turkish Super League, Fenerbahçe, Beşiktaş, Başakşehir, Galatasaray, Göztepe