Super League may end with another ‘super final’
Lütfi Arıboğan, member of the defending champion Galatasaray, picks a number as the draws for the new season are made in the Spor Toto Super League. The new season will start on the Aug 18-19 weekend and will be wrapped up on May 19, 2013. AA Photo
The fixtures for the coming Spor Toto Super League season were drawn July 13, throwing up a possible championship decider between storied Istanbul giants Galatasaray and Fenerbahçe on the second last day of the year.
The match promises another “super final” to the end of the season even though the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) decided to discontinue the “Super Final,” a widely disliked playoff system that brought together the top four teams from the normal table for home-and-away clashes, after just one year. Last year’s playoff featured the big four of Turkish football, Galatasaray, Fenerbahçe, Beşiktaş and Trabzonspor, producing a tense playoff round with two derbies a week for six match days.
Even without the official “Super Final,” defending champion Galatasaray’s visit to eternal rivals Fenerbahçe at the Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium in the 33rd week of the 34-round season could very well decide the destination of the 2012-13 Super League title.
Last season, Galatasaray held Fenerbahçe to a goalless draw on the final day of the playoffs at the same stadium, winning its 18th league title.
Galatasaray vs Trabzon on the last day of season
Galatasaray will have another tough match on the final day of the season, when it will host Trabzonspor. The fixture list also provided a rough opening for Galatasaray, which will visit Beşiktaş in a derby in the second round.
Fenerbahçe will host Trabzonspor in the fifth week and Beşiktaş on the seventh. Both matches will be played behind closed doors since the Yellow Canaries will serve a five-match suspension after crowd trouble following the title game last season.
The league starts on Aug. 18-19, and the opening half of the season will end on Dec. 23. The second half will get under way on Jan. 20, 2013, before ending in May 2013.
All three of the league’s newcomers will experience a baptism of fire to start the season.
Kasımpaşa will visit champion Galatasaray, Elazığspor takes on Fenerbahçe at home while Akhisar, which is making its first appearance in the top flight, will travel to Eskişehirspor, which will play in the Europa League qualifiers next week.
Eskişehirspor finished out of the Europa League places last season but was added as the third Turkish team in the competition after Beşiktaş was banned from entering due to financial irregularities.