Sivasspor sees every league game as a ‘final’

Sivasspor sees every league game as a ‘final’

Sivasspor sees every league game as a ‘final’

Surprise Turkish Süper Lig leader Sivasspor, buoyed by a 3-2 victory last weekend at Beşiktaş, considers every remaining game as a “final” on the way to the trophy.

“It is really tough to play against Beşiktaş in Istanbul, we are delighted to have grabbed three points there,” Sivasspor Rıza Çalımbay, whose side hosts Rizespor on Jan. 27 in Week 19 of the league competition, told reporters mid-week.

Çalımbay noted that the club has a tough schedule ahead, with games against Gaziantep, Başakşehir , Alanyaspor and Trabzonspor following the Rize match.

“We will play three teams in the top five back-to-back,” said the former Beşiktaş captain.

“They are all tough games, but there is also an advantage: We are heading to a period in which the future of the title competition will shape up. If we want to go all the way, we must be on our top form against the top sides. Hence, every single game remaining is like a final game for us, we will handle them one by one.”

With just two losses and 12 wins in 18 games, Sivasspor sits atop the standings with 40 points, four points ahead of its closest rival Başakşehir.

Başakşehir will play a crucial match on Jan. 25 when it travels to the Asian side of Istanbul to take on Fenerbahçe.
After losing its first two games of the season, including a 2-1 loss at home to Fenerbahçe, Başakşehir is on a 16-game unbeaten streak in the league, winning 10 of those games.

Fenerbahçe also made a shaky start to the league but has picked up pace recently, winning three games in a row since a 3-1 loss to leader Sivasspor on Dec. 15, 2019 to climb up to the fourth spot in the league with 34 points.

Third-placed Trabzonspor, which is also on a three-game winning streak, visits eight-placed Malatyaspor on Jan. 27 under its new coach Hüseyin Çimşir.

A caretaker coach was at the helm of the Black Sea side, which sacked coach Ünal Karaman on Dec. 30, 2019 despite a successful run.

Galatasaray, sitting in the sixth spot with 30 points, travels on Jan. 26 to Konyaspor, which beat Ankaragücü 1-0 in an away game last week to claim its first win after following a 10-game winless streak that stretched back to Nov. 5, 2019.

Elsewhere in Week 19 games, fifth-placed Alanyaspor visits Kasımpaşa and the two teams at the bottom clash when Kayserispor hosts Ankaragücü on Jan. 25.

Beşiktaş travels to İzmir to take on Göztepe and Denizlispor entertains Antalyaspor at home on Jan. 26.

Gençlerbirliği was to play Gaziantep at home late on Jan. 24 in the first game of the Turkish Süper Lig’s Week 19 competition.