Galatasaray looks to bounce back in league competition

Galatasaray looks to bounce back in league competition

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Galatasaray looks to bounce back in league competition

Galatasaray coach Fatih Terim intructs his players during a Champions League game against Cluj of Romania. Galatasaray was held to a 1-1 draw on Oct 23, failing to grab a victory in three games. DHA photo

Galatasaray will try to heal the wounds of its ailing Champions League campaign when it hosts Kayserispor this weekend in a Spor Toto Super League game.

The Istanbul club was held to 1-1 draw at home by 10-man Cluj of Romania on Oct. 23, failing to grab a victory for the third straight time in the top European competition. The team is also struggling in the league and has not won for three weeks, losing one game and drawing two, making the Kayserispor game on Oct. 27 a key one to move forward.

The numbers are on Galatasaray’s side going into the game. Kayserispor, which replaced coach Shota Arvaladze with Croatian legend Robert Prosinecki two weeks ago, has lost five of its eight league games so far. The club also has a terrible record against defending champion Galatasaray; the two sides have met 34 times so for in the Turkish league, but Kayserispor has only managed one victory versus 21 for Galatasaray. Of the 12 games that ended in a draw, only
two were in Istanbul.

Kayserispor ambitious

Despite the odds, the Central Anatolian club will be in Istanbul for a victory, according to Kayseri Mayor Mehmet Özhaseki, who is also the honorary chairman of the club.

“We want to beat Galatasaray in its home and have a double celebration during the Feast of the Sacrifice,” Özhaseki told reporters in Kayseri.

“This city embraces Kayserispor; city clubs that do not have the city’s support are doomed to fail,” he said. “Kayserispor will be much better in the near future, you’ll see.”

In other games on Oct. 27, Istanbul BB travels to Mersin İdman Yurdu while Sivasspor hosts Akhisar.
The highlight game of the weekend will be played on Oct. 28, when Trabzonspor hosts Bursaspor. The Black Sea side has won just three league games this season, all by a score of 1-0, underlining the scoring difficulty the team has experienced sing last year’s top scorer, Burak Yılmaz, departed for Galatasaray at the beginning of the season.

Bursaspor, which became only the fifth club and the second non-Istanbul to lift the league trophy in the 2009-2010 season, has also been struggling so far, sitting in 11th spot with only two victories. Both sides will see the game as the first step toward a much-needed winning streak.

Elsewhere on Oct. 28, fourth-placed Gençlerbirliği will be in Karabük hoping to continue its good form as Gaziantepspor hosts Hector Cuper’s Orduspor, the only unbeaten club remaining in the Turkish league.

Fener wins in Greek Cyprus

Fenerbahçe scored a late goal to beat AEL Limassol 1-0 in a Europa League match yesterday in Greek Cyprus although the match was more noteworthy for what failed to happen off the pitch. Tension had been growing for days over discussions on a ban on national flags in the stadium to prevent violence, but the match passed without incident.

Fenerbahçe’s Egemen Kormaz put his team ahead with a goal in the 72nd minute of the match; the strike was the first time the Yellow Canaries had scored against a Greek Cypriot team.

The chairman of the AEL Limassol, Andreas Sofokleus, reassured Fenerbahçe fans on Oct. 22 that they would be able to unveil Turkish flags during the highly anticipated match following a denial of initial stories that the flag would be banned at the ground.

Fener moved into first place in Group C of the Europa League with seven points, three points ahead of both Olympique Marseille and Borussia Mönchengladbach.