Galatasaray hosts Beşiktaş in potential league title decider
With four weeks to go in Turkish football’s top flight, Başakşehir sits atop of the league standings with 62 points, while Galatasaray is second with 60 and Beşiktaş is in third spot with 59 points.
Galatasaray will play Başakşehir at home in Week 33, meaning that the club will defend the title if it wins all its remaining games, regardless of its opponents’ results.
However, it missed the chance to climb atop the standings last week, when it was held to a goalless draw at Konyaspor in a week Başakşehir lost 2-0 at home to Göztepe, and Beşiktaş is on a six-game winning streak in the league.
Recent performances against its city rivals Beşiktaş and Fenerbahçe are also a headache for Galatasaray, with the defending champion having won only once in the last 15 Istanbul derbies.
In their last seven games, Beşiktaş won five and lost one, with one other ending in draw.
Galatasaray’s Nigerian player Henry Onyekuru believes that playing at home will be huge advantage for his side.
“With the support of our fans, we want to give 100 percent and win the game,” said Onyekuru, who is on a loan deal from Everton.
Asked if he would stay at Galatasaray for the next season, the player said he was only focused on the remaining four games.
“We have four games ahead that we should win,” he said. “My biggest aim is to win the title. We will all see what is next after that.”
Galatasaray’s Dutch player Ryan Donk said the Beşiktaş game was crucial for the defending champion’s title ambitions.
“We will play one of the most important games on the way to the trophy,” he said.
“We will play at home, and how we will start the game will be crucial. We must make a good start, and finish well for a victory.”
The team that wins the derby will climb to the first stop if Başakşehir is to drop points at Sivasspor away in the week’s opening game on May 3.
Also in Week 30, Bursaspor will travel to Erzurumspor on May 4 for a game that will shape the battle against relegation.
Bursaspor, champion of the 2009-2010 season, currently sits in the 16th spot in the danger zone with 30 points, one point ahead of 17th Erzurumspor. Only goal difference separates Bursaspor and 15th-placed Göztepe, which hosts Antalyaspor on May 5 in İzmir.
Fenerbahçe, which is still not mathematically safe from relegation, wants to increase the gap with the danger zone when it visits Kasımpaşa on May 4.
Also on May 4, Ankaragücü hosts Rizespor.
Elsewhere, Akhisarspor entertains Malatyaspor at home on May 4, while May 6’s games pit Trabzonspor against Kayserispor and Alanyaspor against Konyaspor.
Alanyaspor announced mid-week that all revenues from the Konyaspor game will be given to the family of Czech player Josef Sural, who was killed in a traffic accident on April 29 while returning from an away game at Kayserispor.