Wounded Beşiktaş looking for improvement in Karabük
AA photoTurkish Super League leader Beşiktaş will try to redirect its focus to the league following a traumatic loss against archrival Fenerbahçe last week, when it visits a tough Kardemir Karabük on Feb. 10.
Beşiktaş has been involved in a cold war with Fenerbaçhe since a Ziraat Turkey Cup game on Feb. 5 that was marked by a major brawl between players from both sides that continued in the dressing rooms.
The match turned in the 41st minute when Fener’s Robin van Persie and Beşiktaş defender Dusko Tosic confronted each other. The home side’s Serbian defender failed to maintain his composure, head-butting the Dutch forward. The referee ejected Tosic with a red card and gave van Persie a yellow for part in the incident.
Beşiktaş’s new signing Matej Mitrovic, a Croatian international, is expected to replace Tosic, who has been sent to the Turkish football’s disciplinary board for his actions during the game along with van Persie and Beşiktaş coach Şenol Güneş.
Meanwhile, the Beşiktaş management refuted reports that it had found Oğuzhan Özyakup unable to captain the team. Oğuzhan argued all game long with van Persie, while failing to calm down his teammates.
Beşiktaş chairman Firket Orman “apologized for any wrongdoings” committed by his club against Fenerbahçe.
Fenerbahçe Deputy Chairman Şekip Mosturoğlu said he accepted Orman’s apology, but added that he did not know whether the Fenerbahçe community would accept it.
“I apologize on my behalf. If I had a hand in these events, just like Fikret Orman, I apologize,” he added.
Fenerbahçe has already printed a T-shirt with a photo of van Persie reacting to the sole goal against Beşiktaş in the “do-or-die” game.
The sole good news for Beşiktaş is the return of Cameroonian striker Vincent Aboubakar, who scored the title-winning goal in the final against Egypt at the Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon.
Meanwhile, Beşiktaş’s third striker, Ömer Şişmanoğlu, is out injured.
Karabükspor, for its side, will miss its Ivorian-born Burkinabe, Abdou Razack Traore, who was also at the Africa Cup of Nations. Karabük executive Tolga Gül said the midfielder would be back on Feb. 11.
Fourth-place Fenerbahçe, which is nine points behind 44-point Beşiktaş in the league, will visit Bursaspor on Feb. 11.
Beşiktaş’s closest rival, Medipol Başakşehir, which is on 42 points, will take a hard test against Istanbul rival Kasımpaşaspor on Feb. 12.
The Black Sea’s Trabzonspor will visit Ankara’s Osmanlıspor on Feb. 11, as Aytemiz Alanyaspor will play against Gençlerbirliği.
On Feb. 12, Akhisar Belediye will host Çaykur Rizespor, as Atiker Konyaspor will play against Alanyaspor.
Third-place Galatasaray will host Kayserispor, which is two points from safety, on the same day.