Istanbul giants keep chasing dark horse Başakşehir
AA photoThe Turkish league will resume this weekend after a one-week hiatus for World Cup 2018 qualification games, with all eyes on Medipol Başakşehir, which remains at the top of the standings after six match days.
The Istanbul side, which has played more than 300 games under coach Abdullah Avcı, will take on Atiker Konyaspor, another well-disciplined side, on Oct. 16.
During the league break, Başakşehir visited league rival Beşiktaş in a friendly, losing 2-1.
On Oct. 15, defending champion Beşiktaş, which is two points behind the leader, will visit Kayserispor, with fans wondering if injured playmaker Oğuzhan Özyakup will be on the pitch or not.
Beşiktaş’s Cameroon international striker Vincent Aboubakar will also be looking for his first goal in the Turkish league.
In the opening game of the week, another Istanbul team, Kasımpaşa, will host Gaziantepspor from the southeast.
Also on Oct. 15, Galatasaray, which is tied with Beşiktaş in the table, will take a hard test against Ankara’s Gençlerbirliği away.
Galatasaray’s Dutch coach, Jan Olde Riekerink, is worried that his countryman Wesley Sneijder will miss the game due to injury.
Striker Eren Derdiyok and Hakan Balta have also returned from their national team campaigns injured but sources said both players will be available for Riekerink.
On Oct. 16, Fenerbahçe coach Dick Advocaat, who was appointed only days before the first game, will try and continue the team’s upward trajectory after a bad start to the league.
Sources said Fener’s Robin van Persie is healing well from injury and can now play up to 80 minutes, which is good news for the fans before the Yellow Canaries face Aytemiz Alanyaspor at home.
A strong Osmanlıspor will visit Bursaspor, which has also started brightly.
Black Sea giant Trabzonspor, which was devastated 4-0 by Kardemir Karabükspor in its last outing, will try to heal its wounds against Akhisar Belediyaspor at home in one of its last games at the venerable Avni Aker Stadium.
Trabzonspor is preparing to move into a new stadium with a 41,961-person capacity.
On Oct. 17, Antalyaspor will take on Çaykur Rizespor.