Galatasaray looks to improve as Fenerbahçe sits in driver’s seat

Galatasaray looks to improve as Fenerbahçe sits in driver’s seat

Galatasaray looks to improve as Fenerbahçe sits in driver’s seat

Fenerbahçe forward Moussa Sow (C) vies for the ball between Galatasaray’s Dany Nounkeu (L) and Semih Kaya during the two teams’ Spor Toto Super League derby match. AFP photo

Galatasaray hopes to catch up and close the gap behind runaway leader Fenerbahçe as the Spor Toto Super League returns from an international break.

The Lions are left nine points behind Fenerbahçe after losing to their archrivals 2-0 in the latest game before the international break, and hope to return to their winning ways in their title defense.

Galatasaray, however, finds a red-hot Sivasspor on Nov. 23 when it bids to return to form.

Sivasspor is third with 22 points, three more than sixth Galatasaray, and enjoys a free-flowing football under Roberto Carlos’ helm. Former Brazilian legend, one of the most skilled defenders ever to grace the game, led Sivasspor to a strong start in his first season as a head coach. The Central Anatolian side is on a six-match unbeaten streak and is having its best season since a club-high runner-up finish in the 2008-2009 season. After flirting with the relegation battle in the last three years, Sivasspor looks solid and could be in contention for European qualification if it can keep up its good form.

As for Galatasaray’s part, consistency has eluded the Lions this season, but the two-time defending titleholder needs an improvement as it will visit the iconic Santiago Bernabeu to meet Real Madrid in the Champions League next week.

The Galatasaray vs. Sivasspor game starts at 7 p.m. Simultaneously, Bursaspor, 11th with 14 points, hosts second Kasımpaşa, which has 24 points. Playing against one of the best teams of the division is already a hard task, but the Crocs were rocked with a transfer request by Pablo Batalla, arguably their best player.

Earlier, Çaykur Rizespor will host Kayserispor at 3:30 p.m.

Çaykur Rizespor is falling after a strong start and got its last win on Sept. 28, but in ninth spot with 15 points, it is still faring better than Kayserispor, which is sitting at rock bottom with six points. Kayserispor will be hoping that the team will improve after the board gave a vote of confidence to coach Robert Prosinecki, who resigned after a 3-0 defeat to Beşiktaş.

On Nov. 24, Fenerbahçe will try to extend its winning streak at Medical Park Antalyaspor. The Yellow Canaries entered the break strongly with a 2-0 derby victory, and sit comfortably on the league’s driving seat, four points clear of closest trailer, Kasımpaşa. The game starts at 7 p.m.

Trabzonspor and Eskişehirspor, two European qualification hopefuls, will meet at 7 p.m. as well.

Kayseri Erciyesspor meets Gençlerbirliği at 1:30 p.m. and Gaziantepspor takes on Sanica Boru Elazığspor at 4 p.m. on Nov. 24.

The 12th match day will be wrapped up on Nov. 25 with Akhisar vs. Karabükspor and Beşiktaş vs. Konyaspor matches.