Fenerbahçe and Beşiktaş face off in last derby of this year in Istanbul
Beşiktaş’s ERsan Gülüm (R) challenged by Fenerbahçe’s Moussa Sow in this file photo taken during last year’s derby took place in Beşiktaş’s İnönü Satdium in Istanbul. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜRELSpor Toto Super League leader Fenerbahçe will host Beşiktaş this weekend as the two Istanbul rivals play out the last big derby of the year on Nov. 30.
The Yellow Canaries, who sit on top of the standings with a comfortable six-point margin over second-place Kasımpaşa, are looking to extend their imperious run; the club is red hot with 10 wins and one draw in 12 matches, going unbeaten since an opening-day defeat to Torku Konyaspor.
With 31 points, Fenerbahçe looks to be on course to declaring itself “winter champions,” with just five match days remaining until the break, but it will need to overcome Beşiktaş, which is seeking to claw its way back to the top.
Under Galatasary’s gaze
Beşiktaş is third with 24 points, one less than Kasımpaşa, and has finally showed signs of returning to its form from earlier in the season. The Black Eagles ran riot in the earlier stages of the season, with four straight wins, but their streak was interrupted by a disappointing derby against Galatasaray.
Beşiktaş threw away a lead and were trailing 2-1 against its archrival when fans invaded the pitch with only seconds left in the game. The Turkish Football Federation (TFF) then awarded a 3-0 victory for Galatasaray while handing the Black Eagles a ban of four matches without male spectators. In the following six weeks, Beşiktaş has only managed to win once, leaving it far off Fenerbahçe’s torrid pace.
As such, the visit to Kadıköy could be the last chance for Beşiktaş to blow the title race wide open.
The game at the Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium will start at 8 p.m. Earlier in the day, Gençlerbirliği hosts Gaziantepspor while Kayserispor takes on Akhisar Belediye Gençlik.
Another member of the big three, Galatasaray, will also be closely watching the derby, as it is now fifth and nine points behind Fenerbahçe, meaning the club will be rooting against the Canaries both out of preference and necessity.
Galatasaray itself, however, while have its hands full, as it will visit a difficult Kasımpaşa side just days after a bitter 4-1 defeat to Real Madrid. Galatasaray looks a shadow of the team that dominated the league over the last two seasons, and its title defense bid could suffer a severe dent if things do not go its way this weekend.
The Kasımpaşa-Galatasaray game will start at 7 p.m. at the Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Stadium on Dec. 1. Eskişehirspor will meet Kardemir Karabükspor at the same time. Earlier in the day, Trabzonspor, which qualified for the Europa League round of 32 with a win over Apollon Limassol in midweek, will host Kayseri Erciyesspor at 3:30 p.m. The 13th round of the Super League will wrap up with Torku Konyaspor-Çaykur Rizespor on Dec. 2.