Fenerbahçe aims to continue European form against Kasımpaşa
Fenerbahçe midfielder Mehmet Topal (C) vies with two BATE players during his team’s Europa League game at the Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium. AA PhotoHigh on its European success, Fenerbahçe hopes to continue its form in the Spor Toto Super League when it meets solid Kasımpaşa on Feb. 24.
Fenerbahçe beat BATE Borisov 1-0 on Feb. 21 to advance to the last 16 of the Europa League for the first time in its history. The win, which came with a penalty goal by Brazilian midfielder Cristian Baroni, meant that the team won the tie 1-0 on aggregate and pitted Fenerbahçe against Viktoria Plzen in the round of last 16.
The Yellow Canaries are now hoping to maintain their form on the domestic stage.
Fenerbahçe is second behind Galatasaray, trailing the defending champion by six points. With Galatasaray not playing its match against Orduspor until Feb. 25, Fenerbahçe has a chance to cut the gap with the leader.
Kasımpaşa is one of the better performers in the league this year, sitting sixth with 33 points. The Istanbul team handed Fenerbahçe its first defeat this season and involuntarily triggered a string of incidents that ended up in the departure of Fenerbahçe icon Alex de Souza. During the 2-0 defeat to Kasımpaşa, coach Aykut Kocaman substituted Alex, with the Brazilian deciding to sit in the stands instead of going to the bench, widely interpreted as a protest against the manager. Alex was then left out of the squad indefinitely, and his contract was eventually terminated, putting an end to a glorious nine-year spell at Fenerbahçe.
Earlier on Feb. 24, Kayserispor, sitting ninth with 29 points, hosts eighth-placed Gençlerbirliği, which has 30 points. Also on that day, Kardemir Karabükspor meets bottom-dwelling Akhisar.
On Feb. 23, Beşiktaş will try to end its poor run when it visits Sivasspor.
Beşiktaş in Sivas
Third with 36 points, Beşiktaş is on a poor run, having won just one match in its five meetings in the Super League. Earlier, Trabzonspor, who lost 3-0 at home to Fenerbahçe last week, visits Mersin İdman Yurdu. The relegation-battling Mediterraneans, who are on 17th spot in the 18-team division, will hope to pull an upset when hosting Trabzonspor.
On the same day, fifth-placed Medical Park Antalyaspor visits Sanica Boru Elazığspor and Istanbul BB hosts Eskişehirspor.