STSL week 22: Galatasaray – Beşiktaş

Updated: February 27, 2017

Coming off their qualification for the UEFA Europa League round of 16 on Thursday, the Black Eagles travel tot he Ali Sami Yen spor complex to battle rivals Galatasaray in what might be the hosts’ last chance for their title aspirations.

Should Beşiktaş beat their rivals they’d create a 10 point gap with 12 matches left in the season, far from mathematically over but given Galatasaray’s lack of morale in recent weeks it’s expected that anything but a Galatasaray win would do great harm to their title chances.

Can Cenk Tosun add a 17th goal to his league total? He already scored once against Galatasaray this season.

Beşiktaş on the other hand can’t afford to lose, should they do so however they will remain top of the table but with only one point sepperating them from second places Istanbul Başakşehir. Galatasaray have recently changed coaches but the sacking of Jan Olde Riekerink and appointment of Igor Tudor did not have the desired effect last week when they dropped two precious points in Rize. Tudor, who was the coach of Karabükspor just two weeks ago, has a win under his belt against the Black Eagles with his former club however. Galatasaray’s star midfielder Wesley Sneijder’s condition is questionable although he’s expected to start while their young starlet Bruma had a falling out with coach Tudor before the Rizespor match, but he has since issued a public apology to the coach and is expected to start.

Beşiktaş have a near full squad available, apart from Demba Ba and Caner Erkin. According to NTV Spor Şenol Güneş could be opting for an Atiba Hutchinson – Gökhan İnler – Oğuzhan Özyakup midfield, rather than their traditional approach with Anderson Talisca starting on the 10. Talisca would be kept as an Ace is Güneş’ pocket. Apart from that it looks like a pretty straight forward lineup with Matej Mitrovic returning to the centre of defence has he has recovered from his injury. Ricardo Quaresma and Ryan Babel starting on the wings with Adriano and Gökhan Gönül giving them support from the back. And it goes without saying that league topscorer Cenk Tosun, Marcelo Guedes and Fabri will be starting.

It’s a match which could see tensions rise, Beşiktaş will hopefully have learned from their mistakes against Fenerbahçe in the cup and not respond to the opponent’s provocations. Galatasaray will be desperate to win and that could benefit the Black Eagles, scoring an early goal could put the game beyond the hosts although conceding early would be bad for the Eagles’ chances aswell. But let’s not forget that Beşiktaş came back from a 2-0 deficit against Galatasaray earlier in the season and the 20 time Turkish champions seem to struggle at the back, especially on crosses, something Quaresma could surely exploit.

Spor Toto Süper Lig
Galatasaray SK – Beşiktaş JK
Location: Ali Sami Yen spor kompleksi
Referee: Bülent Yıldırım
Date: Monday, February 27th
Time: 18:00 (CET)
Channel: Bein Sports Türkiye
Matchday 22

Beşiktaş predicted XI:

Fabricio Ramirez; Gökhan Gönül – Marcelo Guedes – Matej Mitrovic – Adriano Correia; Atiba Hutchinson – Gökhan İnler (Anderson Talisca) – Oğuzhan Özyakup; Ryan Babel – Cenk Tosun – Ricardo Quaresma

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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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