Galatasaray, Fenerbahçe set for tense Istanbul derby
Defending Turkish Süper Lig champion Galatasaray will take on archrival Fenerbahçe at home in Week 6’s most anticipated game.
A recent war of words between the two clubs’ officials has added to the already-high tension ahead of the intercontinental derby on Sept. 28.
The debate came to a head when Ali Koç, chairman of Fenerbahçe based on the Asian side of Istanbul, slammed Galatasaray coach Fatih Terim, who was suspended for four games by the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) for his outburst against referees.
Koç argued that Terim already had a “dirty record,” referring to Terim’s career both as a Galatasaray player and a coach. The remarks created fury among Galatasaray supporters while receiving Fenerbahçe fans’ praises, raising the tensions ahead of the derby game.
Terim, for his part, said Koç’s remarks were “not worth responding” to.
Aside from the tensions on the pitch, there will be a tough battle when referee Cüneyt Çakır blows the whistle to kick off the match.
Galatasaray has made a relatively poor start to its campaign for a third consecutive Süper Lig title, gathering eight points with two draws and one loss in five games.
Fenerbahçe, on the other hand, seems to have recovered from its disastrous performances last season, sitting in the second spot with 10 points.
The numbers are on the visitor’s side, as the archrivals meet for the 390th time since their first game 110 years ago.
Fenerbahçe won 146 of those games, scoring 535 goals, while Galatasaray won 123 times, scoring 485 goals.
In the Süper Lig, Fenerbahçe won 50 matches against Galatasaray, while the home side won 33.
Galatasaray is also winless in its last nine matches against Fenerbahçe in Turkey’s top football league, six of which ended in a draw.
Elsewhere in the Süper Lig in Week 6, league leader Alanyaspor will host Sivasspor and newcomer Denizlispor will entertain Kasımpaşa at home in Sept. 28’s early games.
Sept. 29 will see a “Derby of the Capital” for the first time since 2012 after Ankaragücü and Gençlerbirliği spent the last seven seasons in different leagues.
Also the same day, Konyaspor plays Kayserispor at home and Malatyaspor visits Antalyaspor.
Beşiktaş, which will hold an emergency congress next month to elect a new chairman following turmoil created by a poor start to the season, will travel to the Black Sea province of Trabzon to play a crucial game against Trabzonspor.
Newcomer Gazişehir and Göztepe will clash in the final game of the Week 6 competition on Sept. 30.