STSL week 23: Fenerbahçe – Beşiktaş

Updated: February 29, 2016

Spor Toto Süper Lig
Fenerbahçe – Beşiktaş
Location: Şükru Saraçoglu stadium
Referee: Cüneyt Çakir
Date: Monday, February 29th
Time: 20:00 (GMT+2)
Channel: Lig TV
Matchday 23

The Black Eagles stand before yet another crucial game as they travel across the Bosphorus to take on their closest rivals int he standings, Fenerbahçe.

Beşiktaş are currently in first position in the standings with a one point lead on their rivals and a game in hand, a win tonight could be the beginning of a potential seven point gap if the Black Eagles manage to get 3 points in their postponed match against Trabzonspor aswell.

But that won’t be an easy task as Beşiktaş will be the away side for this potential game of the season contender. While the Black Eagles have more breathing space, their rivals Fenerbahçe will be playing with the knife between their teeth as they need the win in order to close the gap with leaders Beşiktaş.

Fenerbahçe will have to do without Raul Meireles, Lazar Markovic and Abdoulaye Ba tonight, who have all been excluded from their matchday squad due to injury. While Beşiktaş will only miss their stalwart in defence, Luiz Rhodolfo, who has closed the season due to a knee injury last month.

Gökhan Töre, who missed last week’s game, is back and ready to play tonight but will most likely start ont he bench. Beşiktaş did not lose any players to suspension last week so they have their full squad at their disposal.

Fenerbahçe – Beşiktaş is not just the match between the number one and number two of the Spor Toto Süper Lig standings, it’s also the match between the best defence (Fenerbahçe c onceded only 19 goals in 22 games) and the best attack (Beşiktaş scored a 49 goals in 21 games). With Mario Gómez, scoring 16 goals so far, being the main contributor to Beşiktaş’ attacking prowess, while Simon Kjaer is considered to be one of the main reasons for Fenerbahçe’s stubborn defense.

One of the biggest questions on everyone’s mind is whether Fenerbahçe coach Vitor Pereira will start Robin van Persie or Fernandão up front, knowing that not starting Van Persie could end him on the hot seat if his team fail to secure 3 points tonight. Another question is whether he will opt for Gökhan Gönul, who has a slight injury, and Caner Erkin. Or will he go for Şener and Hasan Ali at the back?

While on the Beşiktaş side of things the starting eleven seems quite obvious, it will most likely be the same side that started last Monday in a 1-0 win against Gençlerbirligi.

Beşiktaş predicted XI:

Tolga Zengin; Andreas Beck – Marcelo Guedes – Alexis Delgado – İsmail Köybaşı; Atiba Hutchinson – Oguzhan Özyakup – José Sosa; Ricardo Quaresma – Olcay Şahan – Mario Gómez

Fenerbahçe predicted XI:

Volkan Demirel; Şener Özbayrakli – Bruno Alves – Simon Kjaer – Hasan Ali Kaldirim; Mehmet Topal – Josef de Souza – Diego Ribas; Volkan Şen – Luis Nani – Fernandão

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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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