STSL week 21: Beşiktaş – Akhisar

Updated: February 18, 2017

The Black Eagles did well to rebound from their poor start to the month of February by beating Hapoel Be’er Shéva in their first leg match on Thursday and now put their focus back on the Turkish Süper Lig.

The reigning Turkish champions take on Akhisar Belediyespor at the Vodafone Arena, where they remain unbeaten in the Süper Lig and Europe. Akhisar are currently sitting in 12th place but are only 4 points above the relegation zone. Having sold off their talisman striker Hugo Rodallega in the January transfer window to Trabzonspor and also having let go of stalwart defender Douglão and midfielder Landry N’Guemo has left Akhisar with a significantly weaker side.

Cenk Tosun is the man on form for the Black Eagles and he’ll be looking for his 16th league goal of the season on Sunday

Beşiktaş got their first win away at the Manisa 19 Mayis stadium since Akhisar promotion to the Süper Lig back in 2013 earlier in the season and will now be looking double their points gained against Akhisar this season, one of only two sides who managed to keep Beşiktaş at bay last season in both confrontations in the league (the other being Kasimpaşa).

In recent years Akhisar has been one of the more tricky opponent for Beşiktaş, but the Black Eagles have no excuse this time and must beat their black sheep in order to capitalize on Başakşehir and Galatasaray’s loss of points on Saturday. Should Beşiktaş beat Akhisar they’ll take a four point lead at the top and will go in to the derby against Galatasaray with a seven point lead on their rivals.

 Since Tolunay Kafkaş took over at Akhisar earlier in the season the team hasn’t looked like the formidable opponent of the past seasons, but if one thing must be learned from the defeat against Kasimpaşa it’s that no matter how vulnerable an opponent looks, you still need to beat them on the pitch and can’t give them an inch.

Beşiktaş are still without Dusko Tosic who has served one of his four match suspension and unfortunately for the Black Eagles his replacement Matej Mitrovic picked up an injury on Thursday and will be out for atleast a week. This will allow for either Ersan Gülüm or perhaps Luiz Rhodolfo to make their first start in the league in 2017.

Spor Toto Süper Lig
Beşiktaş JK – Akhisar Belediyespor
Location: Vodafone Arena
Referee: Barış Şimşek
Date: Sunday, February 19th
Time: 17:00 (CET)
Channel: Bein Sports Türkiye
Matchday 21

Beşiktaş predicted XI:

Fabricio Ramirez; Gökhan Gönül – Ersan Gülüm – Marcelo Guedes – Adriano Correia; Atiba Hutchinson – Oğuzhan Özyakup – Anderson Talisca; Ricardo Quaresma – Cenk Tosun – Ryan Babel

Akhisar predicted XI:

Bora Körk; Miguel Lopes – Caner Osmanpaşa – Mustafa Yumlu – Ömer Bayram; Olcan Adın – Abdulwahid Sissoko – Custódio – Aykut Ceviker – Özer Hurmacı; Ricardo Vaz Té

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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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