Fenerbahçe returns to league after knock-out from cup race
Fenerbahçe 2-1 lost at home to minnows Fethiyespor Dec. 4 in the Ziraat Turkish Cup. DHA photoFenerbahçe will be hoping to continue its good form in the Spor Toto Super League when the Istanbul club visits Çaykur Rizespor Dec. 7, having been knocked out of the cup competition in midweek.
In other games this weekend, all to be played Dec. 8, Akhisar Municipality will host Torku Konya, Karabükspor will take on Kayserispor at home, Trabzonspr will travel to Gaziantepspor and Gençlerbirliği is to visit Bursaspor.
Fenerbahçe’s 2-1 loss at home to minnows Fethiyespor Dec. 4 in the Ziraat Turkish Cup came as a blow to Fenerbahçe, although coach Ersun Yanal mostly fielded his reserve players. The coach kept it no secret that he was not happy with the performance of the squad against the lower league club.
As a result, three players fielded in the starting 11 against Fethiyespor; Joseph Yobo, Michal Kadlec and Samuel Holmen, were left out of the Rizespor squad by Yanal on Dec. 6. Fenerbahçe will also miss the services of Raul Meireles, who is serving a ban, and injured midfielder Emre Belözoğlu.
Fenerbahçe currently leads the league table with 32 points, six points ahead of second-placed Kasımpaşa, while struggling Çaykur Rizespor sits in 13th place with 15 points. The home side has asked for the support of its fans against the title favorite. “We have the power to stand up again, but we will need the fans’ support,” Aykut Ferah, spokesperson for the Black Sea club, told the Anadolu agency Dec. 6.
“The Fenerbahçe game is sold out, and we want to send Fenerbahçe back empty handed,” he added. “We expect our fans to support the club patiently throughout the game.”
The game on Dec. 8 between Bursaspor and Gençlerbirliği will bring together two clubs that have both failed to meet expectations so far in the season. Bursaspor has garnered 18 points in 13 weeks and sits in eighth position, while Gençlerbirliği is one spot above the relegation zone with 13 points.
Bursaspor coach Cristoph Daum said the team was trying to make the best use of the players in the squad. “We will be better,” the German said. “I see the signals that we will be much better in the second half of the league.”
Daum expects high concentration from the rival players in the Gençlerbirliği game, which he believes is a must-win for Bursaspor. “I want to see the domination we show in some away games against Gençlerbirliği,” he said. “I hope that we can score an early goal, but such a thing is never guaranteed. Sometimes you dominate the game but cannot score.”
Daum said Bursaspor needed a winning streak in the league.
“The team has been demoralized, just when we win two games in a row we lose the third,” said the coach. “When we have a streak, the rest will follow.”