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STSL week 27: Trabzonspor – Beşiktaş
For the first time ever Trabzonspor host Beşiktaş at their new Medical Park Arena, where they currently remain unbeaten.
The Black Eagles currently have a five point lead on their closest rivals Istanbul Başakşehir, who play 3rd placed Galatasaray on Monday, but Beşiktaş will need to serve Trabzonspor their first defeat at their new football temple in order to assure themselves atleast a 5 point lead at the end of the matchday. While Başakşehir could just as easily drop points on Monday, Beşiktaş can not afford themselves to get complacenet and expect them to do exactly that, the Black Eagles need to look only at themselves and try to win all the remaining matches as they have everything in their own hands at this stage.
When these two sides met earlier in the season the reigning champions secured a narrow 2-1 victory at the Vodafone Arena, but there was plenty of controversy surrounding Ricardo Quaresma’s potential sending off after an unlucky but vicious challenge on Yusuf Erdogan, the Portuguese wizard came away with yellow.
Last season Trabzonspor were one of only two teams to beat Beşiktaş on their home turf but the Black Eagles came away with 3 precious points in Trabzon at the Avni Aker stadium, can Beşiktaş once again leave Trabzon with 3 points and take a huge step towards their second consecutive title?
Referee for this match will be Ali Palabıyık, someone the Black Eagles don’t have the most fondest of memories of after their recent elimination in the Turkish cup at the hands of archrivals Fenerbahçe. Palabıyık’s onesided decisions have cost the points plenty in the past, hopefully he’ll officiate a fair game today and call it down the middle.
A familiar face playing for Trabzonspor is of course Olcay Şahan, the former Beşiktaş man made the move to the Black Sea area during the January transfer window after spending 4,5 years with the Black Eagles. Olcay stated on Friday, “this is a very special match for me. I’m a professional and I will do my job, but if I should score a goal against Beşiktaş, I will not celebrate”.
Olcay has rekindled his career at Trabzonspor, after becoming more of a utility player at Beşiktaş over the previous season-and-a-half, he has grown out to be one of Trabzonspor’s star players in a very short space of time and has been instrumental in their current meteoric rise in the standings. Had Trabzonspor gathered 10 or so points more over the first half of the season, they’d be right in the middle of the title race right now. But that is not the case and Trabzonspor find themselves currently 13 points behind the Black Eagles, should they win the gap will still remain 10 points which at this stage seems impossible to overcome, but they would show a clear signal of intent for next season and it would surely give them and their fans a huge boost headed in to the 2017/18 season with wins over both Galatasaray and Beşiktaş.
The Black Eagles suffered a small injury scare during last weekend’s 3-0 victory over Gençlerbirliği as goalkeeper Fabri went down with an injury to his eyesocket after receiving a hard shot to the face, but the Spanish number one has recovered and is fit to play against Trabzonspor.
Demba Ba was part of the squad last week but with Vincent Aboubakar’s return from suspension he has remained in Istanbul, Caner Erkin did not travel with the team aswell. Beşiktaş are expected to field their typical eleven and suffer no injuries or suspensions at this point, Trabzonspor are without striker Dame N’doye who scored in their last two matches.
Spor Toto Süper Lig
Trabzonspor – Beşiktaş JK
Location: Medical Park Arena
Referee: Ali Palabıyık
Date: Saturday, April 8th
Time: 18:00 (CET)
Channel: Bein Sports Türkiye
Trabzonspor predicted XI:
Onur Kivrak; João Pereira – Uğur Demirok – Jan Durica – Emmanuel Más; Okay Yokuşlu – Ogenyi Onazi – Yusuf Yazıcı; Olcay Şahan – Hugo Rodallega – Fabian Castillo
Beşiktaş predicted XI:
Fabricio Ramirez; Gökhan Gönül – Marcelo Guedes – Dusko Tosic – Adriano Correia; Atiba Hutchinson – Oğuzhan Özyakup – Anderson Talisca; Ricardo Quaresma – Cenk Tosun – Ryan Babel