Rivals clash in big derby

Rivals clash in big derby

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Rivals clash in big derby

Galatasaray was held to a goalless stalemate by Mersin İdman Yurdu on Nov. 5, before the Spor Toto Super League went into a break. Galatasaray could win just one of its last four home games. AA photo

Galatasaray will visit Beşiktaş in the match of the weekend when the Spor Toto Super League returns from a lengthy break.

The two Istanbul giants will meet in the second big derby of the season.

Turkey’s football world was focused on the international fixtures in the last two weeks, but everything ended in disappointment after Turkey missed out on a chance to qualify for the 2012 European Football Championship by losing 3-0 to Croatia on aggregate in the qualifying competition’s playoffs.

The return will be worthwhile with a big derby on Nov. 20, as Beşiktaş welcomes Galatasaray at the Fiyapı İnönü Stadium.

Both teams have entered the league break with negative results, so both will be hoping they can bounce back by getting one over their fierce rivals.

Galatasaray was held to a goalless draw at the hands of Mersin İdman Yurdu on Nov. 5. The Lions are upset that they have only posted one win in their last four matches, but they could be consoled by the fact that it was Mersin who missed a bigger chance to win. The Mediterranean side saw a penalty kick saved by Uruguayan goalkeeper Fernando Muslera and also missed a clear chance with Nduka Ozokwo failing to put home a clear chance.

For Beşiktaş, it was even bitterer: The Black Eagles suffered a heavy 4-2 defeat at the hands of Gençlerbirliği on Nov. 6. The way the defeat came made the scoreline even worse, as Beşiktaş let go of a two-goal advantage, conceding four goals in the second half.

Both teams are behind leader Fenerbahçe in the title race but they are part of a six-strong pack all within two points of each other.

Defending champion Fenerbahçe has 21 points and is followed by last season’s runner-up, Trabzonspor, which has 19 points. Galatasaray leads Istanbul BB and Manisaspor on goal difference with 18 points, while Orduspor and Beşiktaş both have 17 points.

The victory will not only send a message to the other title contenders, but will also help the winner remain better placed for the title challenge.

The match will only be attended by Beşiktaş fans, since away team supporters will not be allowed to attend games between Galatasaray, Beşiktaş, Fenerbahçe and Trabzonspor, following a joint decision taken by the board members of “the big four.”

The big derby starts at 7 p.m.

Earlier Nov. 20, Istanbul BB will play its first match without Abdullah Avcı as coach since 2006. Avcı was the longest-serving coach in Turkish football, but his spell came to an end on Nov. 17 when he was appointed as the new boss of the Turkish national football team following the departure of Guus Hiddink.

Istanbul BB will play at Antalyaspor while Sivasspor meets Gençlerbirliği at 1 p.m. Gaziantepspor welcomes Manisaspor at 4 p.m. the same day.

On Nov. 19, Fenerbahçe welcomes Eskişehirspor, hoping to start a new winning streak. The Yellow Canaries’ 28-match unbeaten streak came to an end on Nov. 4 when they were beaten 2-0 by Sivasspor.

Earlier, Ankaragücü meets Kardemir Karabük and Kayserispor takes on Orduspor.