Istanbul giants meet lowly sides
Fenerbahçe’s Cameroonian striker Pierre Webo (2L) celebrates after scoring a penalty against Lazio in a Europa League quarterfinal first leg game. Fenerbahçe will meet Orduspor four days before the return game in Rome’s Stadio Olimpico. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜRELFenerbahçe visits Orduspor after its Lazio triumph, while bruised Galatasaray takes on Mersin İdman Yurdu, in the two title chasers’ fixtures against relegation battlers this weekend.
The Yellow Canaries will take on troubled Orduspor in just three days after securing one of their most famous victories ever. Fenerbahçe took a giant step toward the Europa League semifinals with a 2-0 win over Lazio in a first leg game played at the Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium on April 4.
However, coach Aykut Kocaman remained cautious and sai “We haven’t won anything yet.”
Fenerbahçe will play the crucial second leg against Lazio in Rome next week, but will need to focus on the domestic league first.
Fener visits Orduspor on April 7, hoping to keep the pressure on defending champion Galatasaray.
Galatasaray leads the league with 53 points with seven matches to go, while Fenerbahçe trails by four points. Beşiktaş is third with 46 points and Kasımpaşa has 43.
Fenerbahçe will not be satisfied with European success alone, with the team also continuing in the Turkish Cup as well. Goalkeeper Volkan Demirel has boldly declared the targets, saying, “We want to win three trophies.”
Cuper at the helm
Orduspor was downed by two late goals against Sivasspor last week and suffered a heavy blow in its bid to survive in the top-flight. Following last week’s win, Argentinean coach Hector Cuper wanted to resign, but the club board overturned the decision, meaning the veteran boss will face Fenerbahçe over the weekend.
Orduspor has 29 points and is currently in the relegation zone, three points behind 15th-placed Sanica Boru Elazığspor.
Also on April 7, Eskişehirspor meets Bursaspor in a game between two teams chasing European qualification. Another relegation battler, Akhisar, visits Trabzonspor, while Gençlerbirliği hosts Gazientepspor the same day.
On April 6, Galatasaray will try to maintain its commanding position when it meets Mersin İdman Yurdu, which is sitting on the opposite end of the standings. The Mediterranean side is likely to go down after two seasons in the top-flight, as it is a considerable 11 points behind Elazığspor and five behind 17th Akhisar.
However, Mersin will being up against a bruised and battered Galatasaray, who suffered a heavy 3-0 defeat against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu on April 3. Galatasaray will try to work a miracle to remain in the Champions League when it hosts Real Madrid on April 9, but will certainly be expecting all three points against a hapless Mersin side.
Also on April 6, Istanbul BB visits Kardemir Karabükspor, while Kayserispor hosts Elazığspor.
Match day 27 will be wrapped up with Beşiktaş’s visit to Bursaspor on April 8.