Turkish Süper Lig resumes after int’l break
The Turkish Süper Lig continues with Week 4 games this weekend following a break for international games.
League leader Alanyaspor takes on second-placed Fenerbahçe on Sept. 16 in the week’s most anticipated game, while Beşiktaş seeks its first away victory at Gazişehir on Sept. 14.
Colombian star Radamel Falcao was expected to make his Turkish league debut for Galatasaray when the defending champions hosted city neighbor Kasımpaşa late on Sept. 14 in the week’s opening game.
Alanyaspor is the only Süper Lig side to have won all its first three games, and wants to maintain its perfect run against title hopeful Fenerbahçe.
Despite the brilliant start to the season, the Mediterranean team is realistic when it comes to season-end expectations.
“We are not surprised by the start we have made, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t surprised by being atop the standings,” said Kamil Köseoğlu, vice chairman of Alanyaspor.
“We are now an established team in the top flight after three seasons,” he added.
“Our target is to win a ticket to the Europa League for the next season [by finishing in the top five], and it will not be a surprise. I’m telling this based on my trust in our players and the technical staff.”
Fenerbahçe, on the other hand, won its first two games in the league, but a 1-1 home draw at home on Sept. 1 against Trabzonspor raised concerns whether the squad, which saw 15 players departing and nine players coming in after last season, has managed to become a team.
Elsewhere in the Süper Lig, last year’s runner-up Başakşehir hosts Sivasspor and Kayserispor travels to Antalyaspor on Sept. 14.
In Sept. 15 matches, Rizespor entertains Göztepe, Konyaspor visits Denizlispor and Ankaragücü takes on Malatyaspor at home.
Cellar-dweller Gençlerbirliği, the only team without a single point after three games, seeks its first point(s) in a tough game on Sept. 15 at Trabzonspor, which has one victory and two draws.
The game may decide the fate of Gençlerbirliği coach Mustafa Kaplan, who believes that his team has made best use of the international break.
“We dropped some unlucky points, but those games are over,” he said.
“We want to start a new page with the Trabzonspor game. We are going there for points, whether a draw or a victory. A Gençlerbirliği with a different mentality will be on the pitch this weekend.”