Eyes on relegation zone in Super League finale
ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Greek striker Theofanis Gekas (L) almost single-handedly carried Akhisar out of the relegation zone this season. AA photoThree teams will battle for survival as the relegation battle is set to dominate the final week of the Spor Toto Super League campaign.
Akhisar, Kardemir Karabük and Istanbul BB will try to avoid becoming the final team to lose the survival battle as the football season comes to an end with the weekend’s fixtures.
Akhisar visits Orduspor, Kardemir Karabükspor hosts Fenerbahçe and Istanbul BB takes on Kasımpaşa in three games that will simultaneously start at 7 p.m. on May 18.
Akhisar, with 39 points, will survive with just one draw against already relegated Orduspor, while Karabük, which has 37 points, will survive with a victory. Istanbul BB, currently in the red zone with 36 points, will need the other two relegation battlers to slump.
At Orduspor, the eyes will be on Theofanis Gekas again. The Greek marksman carried the Super League debutants on his shoulders after he was brought in as a mid-season signing in January, scoring 12 goals in 14 matches after arriving in Turkey.
Akhisar has won the hearts of many neutrals with their brave performances in their first season in top-flight.
The minnow Aegean town team took a major step for survival with last week’s 1-0 win over Mersin İdman Yurdu, but coach Hamza Hamzaoğlu, a former Galatasaray left winger, remained prudent ahead of the final game.
“It’s never over until the final game is over,” he said at a press conference.
Also on the evening of May 18, champion Galatasaray will close the season in front of its home fans against Trabzonspor. The Lions had clinched their 19th Super League title two weeks ago, and will receive its trophy on May 18 but the club said it will not hold celebrations due to the twin attacks in Reyhanlı that killed 52 people on May 11 and the murdering of a 19-year-old Fenerbahçe fan on May 12.
The top four of the standings will remain unchanged with Fenerbahçe, Beşiktaş and Bursaspor respectively trailing .
Fenerbahçe will play the Champions League qualifiers, while Beşiktaş, Bursaspor and Ziraat Turkish Cup finalist Trabzonspor will play in the Europa League qualifiers.
On May 19, Elazığspor hosts Sivasspor at 1 p.m.
Later, Gençlerbirliği takes on Bursaspor at 4 p.m.
The 2012-13 Spor Toto Super League season will be wrapped up with two games at 7 p.m., as Eskişehirspor plays against Medical Park Antalyaspor and Kayserispor hosts Beşiktaş.