Mancini set for home debut for Galatasaray

Mancini set for home debut for Galatasaray

Mancini set for home debut for Galatasaray

Galatasaray coach Roberto Mancini has seen one draw and one defeat in the two games at the helm after replacing Fatih Terim last month. REUTERS photo

Italian coach Roberto Mancini will make his home debut as his Galatasaray hosts Kardemir Karabükspor in the Spor Toto Super League on Oct. 19.

Mancini is yet to taste victory with Galatasaray after two games at the helm but will try to lead the two-time defending champions to victory against Karabükspor, a team that has given the Lions problems since being promoted in the 2011-12 season.

Galatasaray snatched a key 2-2 draw at Juventus on Mancini’s debut, but five days later, lost 2-1 to Akhisar in his league debut.

After six matches, Galatasaray is 13th with one win, four draws and a loss. The Turkish Football Federation (TFF) is yet to award three points to Galatasaray since its Sept. 22 derby against Beşiktaş was halted due to fans’ pitch invasion in the last minute. Galatasaray was leading 2-1 at the time.

Mancini was brought in after the club’s legendary coach, Fatih Terim, was sacked following a rift with the board.

A natural fan favorite due to winning a national-record six league titles with the club he represented for 13 years as a player, Terim has been greatly missed by supporters, and Mancini still has to win over the Türk Telekom Arena faithful.

Copenhagen clashes

Galatasaray will have crucial back-to-back games against FC Copenhagen in the Champions League, while a Fenerbahçe derby is looming in early November, meaning Mancini has to adapt as quickly as he can.

Also on Oct. 19, Elazığspor hosts Eskişehirspor while Gençlerbirliği takes on Kasımpaşa.

On Oct. 20, leader Fenerbahçe, who has 16 points from seven matches, visits Kayseri Erciyesspor.

The Yellow Canaries’ league-best five-match winning streak was interrupted by a goalless draw with Trabzonspor before the league entered its international break, but the Istanbul giant is still the most problem-free of all the title contenders.

High-flying Akhisar, who has 13 points from seven matches to sit fourth, visits Antalyaspor. The team hailing from the minnow Aegean town barely survived in the top-flight last season, but it has so far steered clear of this season’s relegation battles.

Also on Oct. 20, Trabzonspor takes on Sivasspor, four days before a key Europa League trip to Legia Warsaw. Gaziantepspor takes on Torku Konyaspor also that day.