ZTK: Beşiktaş – Karabükspor

Updated: December 16, 2015

Ziraat Türkiye Küpasi Group C
Beşiktaş JK – Kardemir Karabükspor
Location: Atatürk Olimpiyat
Referee: Volkan Bayarslan
Date: Thursday, December 17th
Time: 18:30 (GMT+2)
Channel: ATV/A Haber
Matchday 1

Coming off European elimination and a derby victory against Galatasaray on Monday, the Black Eagles are set for their first Ziraat Türkiye Küpasi fixture of the season and the final stretch of the calendar year 2015.

Beşiktaş take on Kardemir Karabükspor, who are currently in second position in the PTT 1. division after suffering a defeat this past weekend at the hands of Elazigspor.

Karabükspor are, atleast on paper, the toughest opponent in Group C for the Black Eagles. Karabükspor relegated from the Süper Lig last season and are hoping to make a quick return to the top tier of Turkish football, it remains to be seen how serious they are looking to take the Turkish cup given that they may want to concentrate on the battle for promotion in the second division.

For Beşiktaş and most other Süper Lig sides the group stages of the cup are an excellent opportunity for some of the players that have been less featured throughout the season to show themselves to the coaching staff.

Senol Günes is very likely to rely on players like Kerim Frei, Alexander Milosevic, Pedro Franco, Günay Güvenç, Eslem Öztürk and Cenk Tosun in these upcoming cup games against Karabükspor, 1461 Trabzon and Sivas Belediye Spor.

With the elimination from Europe last week the Black Eagles may also make winning the Turkish cup a priority this season, but that does not change the fact that these group stage games are mainly there for none regular starters to show themselves and for players returning from injury to pick up match rythm. With both Veli Kavlak and Tolgay Arslan expected to return to match fitness in the coming weeks, we may see them feature in these group stage games. Veli Kavlak has been training with the team for a few weeks now and he is likely to make his comeback soon. Tolgay on the other hand will likely miss the first 3 games of the group stages and isn’t exepected back until January 2016.

Beşiktaş predicted XI:

Günay Güvenç; Serdar Kurtuluş – Pedro Franco – Alexander Milosevic – Ramon Motta; Eslem Öztürk – Veli Kavlak – José Sosa; Kerim Frei – Mustafa Pektemek – Cenk Tosun.


As for Karabükspor it is a bit difficult to predict whether they will be fielding their strongest team or not, so we’ll be having a look at some of their key players. But please be advised that they may not actually play tomorow.

One of the names that jumps out is that of Romanian international Marius Alexe, some of you may remember him as he was actually linked to a move to Beşiktaş several years ago when he was still playing for Dinamo Bucarest. Alexe is 25 and can play both as a forward and as a winger, so far this season he has scored 4 goals in 13 league appearances and one goal in one cup appearance for Karabükspor. Another familiar name up front is Simon Zenke who played for Samsunspor and Istanbul Başakşehir in the past, he has scored two goals in the league and three goals in the cup this season for Karabükspor (a hattrick against Payas in the qualifying round prior to the group stages). Muhammet Reis is another name that jumps out in their squad, he became topscorer for Osmanlispor last season as they achieved promotion from the PTT 1. division to the Süper Lig, scoring 15 goals, and he had done the same for Balikesirspor the season prior scoring 19 goals. So far this season Muhammet has only bagged two goals in the PTT 1. division and none in the one cup game that they have played so far, in which he appeared only for 35 minutes.

There are several other players on Karabükspor’s squad which you may remember from their stints in the Süper Lig but the team doesn’t have many names that jump out much in particular.

The big question right now is what kind of a team Karabükspor will field tomorow, will they rest some of their key players in favour of their league campaign? Or will they field their strongest team, mind you that even if they rest some of their players this could still be a tough game for us as Adana Demirspor showed last season that even while resting some key players, the motivation of playing against Beşiktaş (or any other big Turkish club for that matter) can really give players a huge boost in motivation. Let’s hope for a good game tomorow and a good opportunity for some players to showcase themselves.


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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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