Beşiktaş bid to break spell against Fenerbahçe
Beşiktaş has only three victories against Fenerbahçe in the last 20 games between the two, and has suffered 11 defeats. REUTERS PhotoBeşiktaş is set to host Fenerbahçe on Nov. 2, bidding to put an end to nearly decade-long weakness against its archrivals in the headline game of the weekend, with both teams sweating to top the league standings.
The clash of city rivals will kick off at 7 p.m. at Atatürk Olympic Stadium, the Black and Whites’ temporary home in Istanbul as their iconic İnönü Stadium is being rebuilt.
Beşiktaş winger Gökhan Töre - sent off last week in the match against SAİ Karyserierciyes for swearing at a referee – is banned, while Fenerbahçe’s Portuguese full-back Bruno Alves is also suspended for the derby.
Beşiktaş currently tops the league with 14 points from seven games, with Fenerbahçe breathing down its neck just one point behind.
Fenerbahçe Chairman Aziz Yıldırım visited the training pitch Oct. 30 in a bid to encourage the players. His Beşiktaş counterpart Fikret Orman, meanwhile, did not hesitate to express concerns over the choice of referee for the game.
“Bülent Yıldırım will referee the Fenerbahçe game. Good luck with that. With his mistakes in the previous games, our eyes will be on him,” Orman said in an Oct. 30 press meeting.
Fenerbahçe coach İsmail Kartal upped the ante, saying he “did not believe that Beşiktaş is the best team” in Turkey.
“We are still the best team in this league,” said Kartal, boss of the defending champions.
Beşiktaş’s Croatian coach Slaven Bilic responded in kind in his pre-match remarks. “I sense respect [in Kartal’s remarks], but it is impossible to agree. We will beat Fenerbahçe by proving our quality and remaining at the top,” he said on Oct. 31.
Beşiktaş carries the burden of a bad record in derby games, having lost 22 out of its last 40 Istanbul derbies in the league, in addition to 10 draws
What’s more, in the last two seasons under Biliç, Beşiktaş has clinched not a single derby victory in the league against Fenerbahçe and Galatarasaray.
Beşiktaş has only three victories against Fenerbahçe in the last 20 games between the two, and has suffered 11 defeats.
Trabzonspor, meanwhile, will play on Nov. 1 away against Akhisar Belediyespor, the latter being an underdog team that has netted 13 points this season. Mersin İdmanyurdu, another dark horse currently sitting in second place, will play Gaziantepspor on Nov. 2.