STSL week 14: Beşiktaş – Galatasaray

Updated: December 2, 2017

With a ticket to the knock-out stages of the Champions League in the bag, Beşiktaş can afford to fully concentrate on today’s derby match with Galatasaray as their match against Leipzig on Tuesday holds little importance to the Black Eagles.

While they have impressed friend and foe in the Champions League, Beşiktaş have fallen behind 6 points in the league. While Beşiktaş have never lost a league match at Vodafone Park, they are also yet to win a derby with their two matches with Fenerbahçe (1-1) and Galatasaray (2-2) ending in draws last season. In addition the Eagles were also unable to beat Başakşehir at Vodafone Park on both occassions, both matches ending in a 1-1 draw.

Beşiktaş will have to win their first derby against league leaders Galatasaray in order to get back in the fold of the title race, while a draw would be good for the visitors it wouldn’t help the Black Eagles any further. A defeat on the other hand could mean the end of the reigning Champions’ title challenge even before the second half of the season kicks off.

Several players have been struggling for form and Şenol Güneş is expected to make atleast one notable change to his starting lineup with Anderson Talisca likely to move to the bench, with captain Oğuzhan Özyakup being dropped back in the starting lineup after having been on the bench in recent weeks.

Despite their stellar performances in the cup against Manisaspor (9-0 victory) Jeremain Lens and Álvaro Negredo are expected to start on the bench, but will likely get their chance against Leipzig in the Champions League.

Despite going two goals down in their first confrontation at Vodafone Park, Beşiktaş fought back and got a 2-2 draw with Cenk Tosun scoring the all important equalizer.

The Black Eagles have no suspensions, bar Caner Erkin, or injuries. Ryan Babel will miss the next league match should he get yellow carded.

Beşiktaş and Galatasaray have met once since Igor Tudor took over from Jan Olde Riekerink: a 0-1 away win at the Türk Telekom Arena for Şenol Güneş and his men thanks to a deflected Anderson Talisca free-kick. The pressure is on and Beşiktaş know that there is only one result that matters for them tonight: get the 3 points at all costs.

Following two disappointing draws in the league against Akhisar and Malatyaspor, the players will need to respond on the pitch and show the fans that they don’t just care about the Champions League. A third consecutive title is still in the cards, but Beşiktaş can have no excuses tonight.

Despite leading the standings, Galatsaray coach Igor Tudor will also be under pressure tonight. Under his tutolage Galatasaray have lost most of t heir high profile matches, including two batterings at the hands of Başakşehir. Should they lose tonight there will undoubtedly be cries for his head again by their fanbase. The pressure for them to win might not be as big as for Beşiktaş, but it’s unlikely that their fans will be happy with another non-derby win.

Beşiktaş JK – Galatasaray SK
Location: Vodafone Park
Referee: Firat Aydinus
Date: Saturday, December 2nd
Time: 17:30 CET
Channel: beIN Sports HD 1

Beşiktaş predicted XI:

Fabri; Gökhan Gönül, Pepe, Duško Tošić, Adriano Correia; Atiba Hutchinson, Tolgay Arslan, Oğuzhan Özyakup; Ricardo Quaresma, Cenk Tosun, Ryan Babel.

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Kaan Bayazit

Editor-in-chief at Beşiktaş International
Freelance sports writer specialized in Turkish football and Beşiktaş. Co-host of the Black Eagles podcast. Frequently featured in World Soccer Digest Japan and many other international media outlets. Following Turkish football for close to two decades. Proud father to Aedin.
Kaan Bayazit
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