League leaders Galatasaray and Beşiktaş bid to continue runs at home
ISTANBULTurkish Spor Toto Super League leader Galatasaray hosts minnow city rival Kasımpaşa on Sept. 16, aiming to continue its perfect home record so far this season.
The Istanbul club, which made more than 10 additions to its squad over the summer, has made a fast start to the season, winning its first three games in style before being held to a 1-1 draw at Antalyaspor last week.
As one of the two unbeaten teams in the league, along with second-placed Beşiktaş, Galatarasay is eager for another multi-goal victory at home in the Week 5 fixtures.
The task is tough, however, with in-form Kasımpaşa, based in the neighborhood with the same name in the heart of Istanbul, having lost only once so far and sitting in fourth spot after last week’s home victory against Malatyaspor.
The statistics favor Galatasaray. In the 26 times that the two teams have clashed since 1959, Galatasaray has won 16 times while its rival has grabbed four victories.
Beşiktaş, which is in second place on goal difference, will also be at home, hosting Konyaspor in the closing game of the week on Sept. 18.
Buoyed by a 3-1 Champions League group stage victory at Porto on Sept. 13, Beşiktaş will want a win to ease the wounds of a 2-1 Turkish Super Cup loss to the Central Anatolian club on Aug. 6.
Konyaspor was also in European action mid-week, losing 1-0 at Marseille on Sept. 14 in a Europa League Group I match.
French defender Ali Rami headed in the winner for Marseille, leaving Konyaspor still seeking its maiden victory on the European stage. The club is winless in its seven Europa League matches it has played so far with one draw and six losses.
Another Turkish team on the European stage, Başakşehir, was held to a goalless draw at home on Sept. 14 by Bulgaria’s Ludogorets in a Group C match in the Europa League.
Başakşehir, last season’s Super League runner-up, will host Trabzonspor on Sept. 17, hoping that fatigue will not take its toll after a tough mid-week.
Fenerbahçe, which announced mid-week that under-fire coach Aykut Kocaman would remain at the helm “until hell freezes over,” will seek its second win of the season at Antalyaspor on Sept. 17.
Also on Sept. 17, the two Ankara teams at the bottom of the table, which both have one draw and three losses in for games, will be seeking to revive their fortunes.
Osmanlıspor will host Sivasspor in Ankara, while Gençlerbirliği travels to İzmir to take on newcomer Göztepe, whose performances so far have exceeded the expectations.
On Sept. 16, newcomer Malatyaspor, whose coach Ertuğrul Sağlam left mid-week citing organizational problems at the club, hosts Bursaspor, which Sağlam led to the league title in the 2009-2010 season.
Akhisarpsor takes on Karabükspor at home on Sept. 16, while Antalyaspor was due to play at Kayserispor in the first game of the week late on Sept. 15.