Outsiders hope to keep pace with the top pack
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Gençlerbirliği, one of the Super League’s solid sides, is on a five-match unbeaten streak. The Ankara team was held to a goalless draw against struggling Karabükspor last week (pictured) and will meet Elazığspor on the weekend. AA photoThe Spor Toto Super League’s outsiders will try to maintain their form that has seen them help set the pace at the top of the table when the 10th round of the campaign continues on the weekend.
Defending champion Galatasaray and high-flying Antalyaspor are at the top of the league, each with 18 points from nine matches.
Galatasaray opened the 10th round with a match against Istanbul BB on Nov. 2, while Antalyaspor will test its title credentials against Trabzonspor on Nov. 5.
The weekend will see Gençlerbirliği, Eskişehirspor and Orduspor, who all have 14 points to follow the top two, take the field with an eye to maintaining their good run.
The three Anatolian sides have fared better than expectations so far, bettering Istanbul title hopefuls Beşiktaş and Fenerbahçe.
Gençlerbirliği will meet bottom-dwelling Elazığspor on Nov. 4, while Orduspor meets Sivasspor. Beşiktaş hosts Mersin İdman Yurdu also that day.
Earlier this weekend, Eskişehirspor takes on Gaziantepspor on Nov. 3, while Fenerbahçe visits relegation-battling Akhisar and Kayserispor takes on Kardemir Karabükspor.
Gençlerbirliği is on a five-match unbeaten streak, which also included a 3-3 draw with Galatasaray. However, the team, hailing from the capital city, had three draws during that period, showing that the team is both hard to beat but has trouble breaking down opponents.
Before the streak, it suffered a 4-2 defeat to Eskişehirspor.
Eskişehirspor, on the other hand, seeks to play the fluid game its attacking-minded coach Ersun Yanal desires. The Red-Blacks’ season has included a 5-2 thrashing of Karabükspor and a 3-2 win over Mersin İdman Yurdu, along with the Gençlerbirliği victory, meaning the team is only behind Galatasaray in terms of goals scored with 17. Again, apart from Galatasaray, no other Super League team’s matches witness more goals than Eskişehirspor with 30.
Veteran striker Diomansy Kamara of Senegal is Eskişehirspor’s most prolific marksman, having been on target six times for the Central Anatolian outfit.
Managed by experienced coach Hector Cuper, Orduspor has suffered a dip in form after a strong start to the season. The team from northern Turkey has lost once and drawn twice in the last three games, dropping points to lowly Karabükspor, Elazığspor and Gaziantepspor. Two weeks ago, the team was just one win away from displacing Galatasaray from top spot in the league, but failed to seize its opportunity. It is apparent that Cuper needs to remind his team about its winning ways, which seem to have been forgotten since the club dispatched Galatasaray 2-0 on Sept. 28, handing the champions their only loss of the season.
The trio is followed by Kasımpaşa, Bursaspor, Fenerbahçe and Trabzonspor, all of whom have 13 points.
Kasımpaşa has also gone cold, going winless in its last three since beating Fener in late September.
Bursaspor is on a six-match unbeaten streak, the longest such run in the division.
Fenerbahçe will try to start a new run as well after the team suffered a heavy 3-1 reverse to Antalyaspor on Oct. 29, ending its 47-match unbeaten streak at home. The Yellow Canaries will try to dress their wounds against a struggling Akhisar side, which ended a seven-match winless streak with a 2-1 victory at Sivasspor last week.