Two Turkish Super League derbies to rock Istanbul over weekend
The Turkish Super League will reach its climax over the weekend when leader Başakşehir visits third-spot Beşiktaş on April 13, one day before the Turkish classico, the Fenerbahçe-Galatasaray derby, only to reshuffle the cards.
Başakşehir is comfortable on the top with 61 points, six more than its closest follower Galatasaray, only seven weeks before the league ends.
“We will play against a team with powerful players and a powerful play,” coach Abdullah Avcı said after a 2-0 win over Konyaspor last week.
“It will be a beautiful weekend at the Turkish league,” he said.
“I hope it will witness beautiful games without any chaos. We will try to attract everyone into this family of football.”
The biggest headache for him might be missing players with reports saying that center-back Alexandru Epureanu will not appear in the game due to injury. Mahmut Tekdemir, an experienced defender on the bench seems to be Avcı’s first pick for the position.
Former Barcelona member Arda Turan missed the Konyaspor game last week but started training with the team. Still, his condition is not clear.
Gökhan İnler, another midfielder, is not on board for weeks due to injury.
Beşiktaş, for its side, is high in morale, following a 7-2 away win over a tough Rizespor on April 8.
Fans were thrilled by three goals by Güven Yalçın, a 20-year-old, who replaced main striker Burak Yılmaz on the in the 79th minute. The Eagle’s rising star Adem Ljajic also fulfilled expectations with two goals and three assists, his best performance since he arrived last summer.
Galatasaray, meanwhile, may be troubled over defense regulars’ absence in the derby against a disappointed Fenerbahçe.
Booked in the second half of a league game against Yeni Malatyaspor on April 7, Brazilian central defender Marcao will miss the away derby.
Marcao’s defensive partner, Christian Luyindama was also previously sent off in last week’s Turkish Cup match against the same rival, so Galatasaray’s defensive tandem won’t be playing in the derby.
The visitor hasn’t got a win in Fenerbahçe’s Şükrü Saracoğlu stadium in the Kadıköy district since December 1999.
One of the Turkish league’s big three, Fener is below expectations this season it collected a mere 32 points in the first 26 weeks and is in the 13th spot.
It failed to beat Ankaragücü in April 7’s league match.