Sneijder set to make debut start for Lions
Wesley Sneijder (R) has played half an hour during the Beşiktaş derby. AFP photo
Wesley Sneijder is likely to earn his first start as a Galatasaray player when the Turkish champion visits Bursaspor in the Spor Toto Super League on Feb. 2.
The Dutchman made his first appearance at Galatasaray after his highly speculated move from Inter Milan during the derby against Beşiktaş last weekend. The 28-year-old Sneijder, who entered as a second-half substitute in the match but who had little playing time with Inter Milan in the first half of the season, is “lacking match practice,” Galatasaray assistant coach Hasan Şaş admitted.
Midfielder Felipe Melo was sent off minutes after Sneijder entered the game, meaning that Galatasaray had to change its formation and move the Dutchman into an ineffectual position.
With Melo having been handed a four-game ban after spitting at Beşiktaş midfielder Oğuzhan Özyakup, Sneijder may earn his first start this weekend.
Bursaspor will be starting life under Ertuğrul Sağlam, who led the Crocs to their first ever league title in 2010 during his four-year spell. The team signed QPR defender Anton Ferdinand on a loan deal earlier this week.
Also on Feb. 2, fifth Kasımpaşa hosts Elazığspor and fourth Antalyaspor meets Istanbul BB.
Galatasaray leads the league with 36 points, five points ahead of Beşiktaş and Fenerbahçe. Antalyaspor has 30 points and Kasımpaşa has 29.
On Feb. 3, Fenerbahçe visits Sivasspor, three days after the two teams had a 0-0 draw in the Turkish Cup. Orduspor meets Gençlerbirliği, Eskişehirspor plays Mersin İdman Yurdu and Trabzonspor visits Gaziantepspor, all also on Feb. 3.