Wounded Turkish giants set for derby
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Fenerbahçe star Alex dribbles past two Beşiktaş players during the two teams’ first meeting in the Spor Toto Super League last year. The Brazilian barely escaped a red card ban and is available for weekend’s derby. AA PhotoTwo heavyweights in Turkish football, Fenerbahçe and Beşiktaş, meet for a crucial derby in the Spor Toto Super League, but both teams’ poor forms and squad problems suggest the match could have arrived at a better time
Fenerbahçe star Alex dribbles past two Beşiktaş players during the two teams’ first meeting in the Spor Toto Super League last year. The Brazilian barely escaped a red card ban and is available for weekend’s derby.
Fenerbahçe hosts Beşiktaş in the big game of the Spor Toto Super League on Feb. 5, with both teams trying to recover from recent losses.
An excellent performance by Samsunspor, with three goals from Theofanis Gekas, defeated Fenerbahçe 3-1 on Feb. 2, while Beşiktaş could not prevent a 1-0 home defeat delivered by Mersin İdman Yurdu.
With these defeats, both teams missed out on chances to cut the gap with leader Galatasaray, who was held to a 1-1 draw by Medical Park Antalyaspor a day earlier.
Galatasaray leads the league with 51 points, while Fenerbahçe has 48 and Beşiktaş is on 45.
Galatasaray will have the chance to extend their lead and watch the derby more comfortably since they will be playing against Gaziantepspor earlier Feb. 5.
If Galatasaray wins, the Istanbul derby will be a match neither Fenerbahçe nor Beşiktaş can afford to lose.
Fenerbahçe and Beşiktaş’s defeats were no surprises, as both are going through difficult runs of form, having each lost twice in their last three games.
Fenerbahçe suffered a heavy 3-2 defeat to Istanbul BB in a midweek fixture, while Beşiktaş, before the Mersin İdman Yurdu game, lost to Kayserispor last week.
Beşiktaş has a bigger problem, however, as the team will have to cope with serious squad-related problems.
The team’s combative midfielder Manuel Fernandes will be serving the second of his two-match ban. The Eagles also lost two wing-backs, İsmail Köybaşı and Germany’s Roberto Hilbert, to injuries sustained during the same game.
The most serious blow for Beşiktaş is likely to be the absence of Ricardo Quaresma, who was sent off due to a foul on Mersin’s Mustafa Keçeli. The Portuguese superstar was making his return to the team after being laid off for about two months due to injury.
Fenerbahçe should consider itself lucky since captain Alex de Souza managed to escape a red card for a cynical foul during the Samsunspor game. Alex was just given a yellow card, meaning he will be available to play against Beşiktaş.
The Yellow Canaries will also have Moussa Sow making his debut for the team. The player arrived in Istanbul after taking part in Senegal’s unsuccessful African Nations Cup campaign. The derby starts 7pm, Feb. 5. Earlier that day it is Kayserispor vs. Gençlerbirliği, Bursaspor vs. Orduspor and Mersin İdman Yurdu vs. Sivasspor. On Feb. 4, Trabzonspor visits Medical Park Antalyaspor. Match Day 25 will be wrapped up with three more games on Feb. 6.