Galatasaray return to Super League

Galatasaray return to Super League

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Galatasaray return to Super League

Galatasaray’s Emmanuel Eboue and Selçuk İnan (R) try to contain Manchester United forward Danny Welbeck in the two teams’ Champions League match. Galatasaray lost the game to English giants by one goal. EPA photo

Leader Galatasaray will return to the Spor Toto Super League, four days after suffering its first defeat this season.

The Lions will host Super League newcomer Akhisar on Sept. 23 at Türk Telekom Arena, in what will be Galatasaray’s first game after losing 1-0 to Manchester United in a tight Champions League game.
Galatasaray feels unlucky to come away empty-handed after its three shots hit the bar in the game and a strong appeal for a penalty call was turned down by referee Wolfgang Stark. However, the Lions will try to leave the big game behind and focus on Akhisar. Galatasaray leads the league with 10 points from four games.

Akhisar has made a surprising start with a 1-0 win at Eskişehirspor, one of the solid teams of the division. However, the minnow side from the 100,000-person town in the Aegean district of Manisa then failed to win in its next three games. Akhisar, which is having its first season in the top-flight, suffered a heavy 4-0 defeat against Istanbul BB last week.

The game starts at 8 p.m.

Earlier on Sept. 23, it is Sivasspor vs. Kasımpaşa and Elazığspor vs. Bursaspor. Kasımpaşa, who made a strong start to the league, is second with nine points. The Istanbul side, which was also promoted to the Super League this year, is on a three-game winning streak after losing 2-1 to Galatasaray on the opening weekend of the season. Kasımpaşa’s solid form hardly comes as a surprise with the team having formed an experienced squad, including Kalu Uche, Fabian Ernst and Anders Isaksson.

Beşiktaş enjoys good start

Another team that has started above expectations, Beşiktaş, will look to maintain its form against Gaziantepspor on Sept. 22. The Black Eagles, who were barred from playing in the European competitions due to financial irregularities, are downsizing and offloading some players in order to keep their drowning finances afloat. It also tried to sell another key man, Ricardo Quaresma, and is unable to use him due to problems between the coach, the player and the board. However, journeyman Turkish Coach Samet Aybaba’s decision to blend youngsters with those who are left has paid off so far with two wins and two draws in four games. Beşiktaş is third with eight points, and last week’s 3-0 win over Elazığ meant the club scored three goals in three consecutive games for the first time in nine seasons.

Also on Sept. 22 will be Istanbul BB vs. Antalyaspor and Kayserispor vs. Eskişehirspor.