Stage set in Süper Lig for Galatasaray vs Trabzonspor clash
The away side, Trabzonspor, leads the league nine points ahead of its closest rival, sitting in a comfortable spot to aim for its first league title in almost 30 years.
However, supporters are concerned that the Black Sea side is experiencing a downturn in its performance, with the team being held to draws in three of its last four games.
A 1-1 draw at home to Giresunspor was its second draw in a row, and the club desperately needs a win in Istanbul to convince its fans that the league trophy is still its to lose.
“Football is a game of probabilities, and that was in our destiny,” said Trabzonspor assistant coach Orhan Ak following the Giresunspor game.
Ak was in charge of the team as coach Abdullah Avcı was serving a ban after being sent off in a 1-2 draw at Sivasspor on Jan. 15 following an argument with the referee.
“We are sad about the two points we dropped here, but the positive thing is our team played very well in the second half,” Ak added.
“We seem to be in a good position in the league, but we must work harder.”
Galatasaray, on the other hand, is going through one of its worst-ever league performances, and a change of guards has not had a positive effect on the team yet.
A 3-1 loss at home to Kasımpaşa on Jan. 20 was the Istanbul club’s third league loss in a row, and second under coach Domenec Torrent, who replaced club legend Fatih Terim last week.
Having seen just one win in the last 11 league games, the supporters now blame the club administration and chairman Burak Elmas.
The spectators in the Kasımpaşa game ripped of their masks with Elmas’ face on them, chanting songs calling on him to resign.
Torrent blamed “mental problems” for the two losses under his watch.
“Everybody talks about the physical conditions in case of coach change, but that is not the most important thing,” the Spanish coach, who worked as an assistant to Pep Guardiola from 2007 to 2018, said after the Kasımpaşa loss.
“What is important is that players put mental blocks in front of them,” Torrent added. “We have quality players, but they are not experienced in coping with such mental issues. It is important to be able to withstand the pressure.”
The coach urged his players to show their “true power.”
“It was very important to win today, but we failed,” said Torrent. “We must try to win the next match no matter what. With the player problems we have going on, we have to convince them that they are better than they are now, they can and must perform better, because they play for Galatasaray. They have a huge responsibility towards these fans.”
Elsewhere in the Süper Lig’s Week 23 games, Malatyaspor hosts Beşiktaş, Adana Demirspor plays Karagümrük at home, Fenerbahçe visits Sivasspor and Göztepe travels to Başakşehir on Jan. 22.
In Jan. 23’s games, Hatayspor takes on Rizespor at home, Kasımpaşa entertains Kayserispor, Konyaspor visits Altay, Gaziantep travels to Antalyaspor and Alanyaspor visits Giresunspor.