Galatasaray, Başakşehir aim for league wins
Spor Toto Super League leader Galatasaray visits Rizespor on May 11 as the title race heats up with three games to go in the season.
Başakşehir, the leader’s closest rival separated by goal difference, will try to end its three-game winless streak when it hosts Ankaragücü on May 12.
Galatasaray climbed up to the top spot last weekend when it beat city rival Beşiktaş 2-1 in an Istanbul derby, making use of the fact that Başakşehir, which once led the league by eight points, has won only one of its last six league games.
Galatasaray will host Başakşehir next week and may claim the trophy before the last week’s games are played.
Speaking after last week’s derby win, Galatasaray coach Fatih Terim recalled that he had said points gaps did not mean much.
“You lose when you give up,” said Terim, who is aiming for his eight league trophy with Galatasaray.
“I believe in what I do, I know my club and its community very well,” he added. “When our supporters unite with the team, nothing is impossible. It is a good thing to be on top with three games remaining, hopefully we will carry this advantage to the very end.”
While Terim has confidence in himself and his team, statists also back the experienced coach’s ambitions.
Galatasaray has won the title in all 11 seasons in which it was atop the standings with three weeks to go since the 1987-1988 season, when the three-point system came into force. Seven of those 11 trophies were won with Terim in charge.
Başakşehir, on the other hand, will play a must-win game against Ankaragücü, with Beşiktaş, which trails the second-placed club by four points, still dreaming of a Champions League berth.
Beşiktaş will host Alanyaspor in the final game of the week on May 13.
Week 32 competition in the Super League will also witness a fierce battle against relegation.
Three points separate Bursaspor, Erzurumspor and Göztepe in the danger zone, with cellar-dweller Akhisarspor, which will play in the Turkish Cup final against Galatasaray on May 15, trialing by five points.
Bursaspor, which has not won in its last seven league games and dropped to the relegation zone with last week’s 2-0 loss at Erzurumspor, was to play at Antalyaspor late on May 10, with a home game against Göztepe scheduled for next week.
The İzmir club hosts Sivasspor on May 11, while Erzurumspor travels to Malatyaspor on May 12 and Akhisarspor visits Fenerbahçe, which seems to be safe in its worst league season of its history after a 3-1 victory at Kasımpaşa last week.
Elsewhere in Week 32 games, Kayserispor hosts Kasımpaşa and Trabzonspor wants to extend its nine-game unbeaten streak when it visits Konyaspor.