Derby game to feature couple of new signings
Wesley Sneijder jogs during a Galatasaray training seassion. ‘I trained a lot after my last injury and I am 100 percent fit,’ Sneijder has said of fitness rumors. AA photoWesley Sneijder and Dentinho – as Bruno Ferreira Bonfim is known – will make their Turkish debuts in a big game as Galatasaray hosts Beşiktaş in a Spor Toto Super League game on Jan. 27.
Galatasaray leads the standings with 33 points, while Beşiktaş is second with 31 points, meaning the winner is sure to take over the top spot in the division.
The two teams have boosted their squads with transfers this week; Galatasaray purchased Dutch superstar Sneijder and Beşiktaş signed Brazilian forward Dentinho.
The talk of the game is surely Sneijder. The Dutchman, who has had arguably the biggest move in European football during the January transfer window, is available for selection at the end of the week he finalized his much-hyped move from Inter Milan to Galatasaray.
Sneijder was not featured in Inter coach Andrea Stramaccioni’s plans, and having suffered serious injuries, was used in just five matches with the Italian giants this season.
However, Sneijder denied claims he was not fit for a match and said he was ready to face Beşiktaş in a Spor Toto Super League derby on Jan. 27.
“I know there is a big game on [Jan. 27],” he said. “I feel good, I trained a lot after my last injury and I am 100 percent fit.”
Galatasaray’s successful midfielder duo, Selçuk İnan and Felipe Melo, have been playing alongside each other for the last year and a half, and coach Fatih Terim is likely to integrate a new playing system for the team to make room for the Dutchman. The team has been playing with two center forwards – two of Burak Yılmaz, Umut Bulut and Johan Elmander – so Terim might play a lone striker and employ Sneijder behind the forward line as well. However, making drastic changes on the eve of a big game could be risky for Galatasaray, and it remains to be seen whether Terim will take the risk.
For Beşiktaş coach Samet Aybaba, playing Dentinho could be more of a necessity rather than an option, since his team’s first-choice forward, Hugo Almeida, is injured.
Although initially announced to be out for three weeks, it was later revealed by the club that the Portuguese player would be available for selection against Galatasaray, but still, Dentinho looks likelier to feature up front in the derby.
“I really want to play against Galatasaray,” Dentinho, who was signed on a loan deal from Shakhtar Donetsk, said in a statement released on the club’s website.
Also on Jan. 27, Kayserispor hosts third-place Antalyaspor, Trabzonspor visits Elazığspor and Mersin İdman Yurdu takes on Sivasspor.
On Jan. 26 Istanbul BB meets Bursaspor, Gençlerbirliği takes on Akhisar and Gaziantepspor plays Fenerbahçe.