Treble-seeking Fener looks to maintain winning streak

Treble-seeking Fener looks to maintain winning streak

Treble-seeking Fener looks to maintain winning streak

Fenerbahçe had back-to-back games against Eskişehirspor in four days, and won the Super League game 1-0, before drawing the Turkish Cup match 1-1. DHA photo

Fenerbahçe will try to extend its league-best five-match winning run when it visits Gençlerbirliği in the Spor Toto Super League on April 21.

The Yellow Canaries are still in contention for three trophies, the Ziraat Turkish Cup and Europa League in addition to the league and hopes to continue pressuring leader Galatasaray.

The Lions started the match day 30 on top of the league with 59 points, while Fenerbahçe followed by a four-point gap. Galatasaray was scheduled to meet Sanica Boru Elazığspor in the 30th round’s opening game.

Fenerbahçe will play a crucial Europa League semifinal first-leg game against Benfica on April 25 and it will try to complete the Gençlerbirliği match with minimal damage.

Fener had back-to-back meetings against Eskişehirspor and won the league game 1-0, before drawing the cup match 1-1.

Mental exhaustion

Before the two games, Kocaman did not call his players to stay in the club facilities before the match day, which is the usual practice for Turkish teams, to boost their morale.

“In this high tempo, I wanted to comfort my players a little by not holding a camp before the Eskişehirspor game,” Kocaman said. “In this part of the season, players do not just suffer physical exhaustion, but also mental exhaustion. That was a way to overcome that.”

He added that his players had a high capacity and said they would apply force all the way into the end of the season.

Gençlerbirliği is sitting seventh with 40 points.

Also on April 21, Bursaspor visits Medical Park Antalyaspor in a key game for the Crocs’ bid for European qualification.

Bursaspor had a successful run recently, climbing to the fourth spot with 46 points, and follow third Beşiktaş from just a three-point distance. Antalyaspor, on the other hand, could not maintain its early form in the season, where it held the second spot for many weeks.

Sixth Kayserispor hosts Sivasspor and Istanbul BB, which is just one point above the relegation zone, takes on Gaziantepspor also on April 21.

On April 20, Beşiktaş visits Akhisar, which aims to hold on to the top-flight football in its first season in the Super League. The minnow Aegean team has been a favorite for neutrals with its brave battle despite a modest budget, and is 16th with 32 points. With five weeks left, Akhisar needs points and it will try to hurt Beşiktaş, two weeks after a key victory over Trabzonspor.

Bottom-dweller Mersin İdman Yurdu could lose its relegation battle with a defeat at Kardemir Karabükspor and 17th Orduspor, which saw coach Hector Cuper resign last week, hosts Kasımpaşa also on April 20.