STSL week 28: Beşiktaş – Bursaspor

Updated: April 11, 2016

Spor Toto Süper Lig
Beşiktaş JK – Bursaspor
Location: Vodafone Arena
Referee: Bariş Şimşek
Date: Monday, April 11th
Time: 20:00(GMT+2)
Channel: LIG TV
Matchday 28


The long wait is over and the day has finally come, after 2,5 years Beşiktaş will finally once again play a home match on their own turf. The Vodafone Arena has finally been completed and the 42.000 capacity stadium will be inaugurated on Monday during a crucial Süper Lig confrontation with Bursaspor on matchday 28.


Over the past couple of days the final touches have been brought to the Vodafone Arena, themost advanced stadium in the entire country. In addition it is the only stadium to have a hybrid grass pitch.

Since beating Gençlerbirligi 3-0 on May 11th 2013 during the final ever home match at the Beşiktaş Inönü stadium, exactly 29 months ago to the day, the Black Eagles have played all their home games at the Atatürk Olimpiyat, Başakşehir (both in Isanbul), Konya arena or Osmanli stadium (Ankara). It may come as no real surprise that in these 29 months the Black Eagles have at times struggled in their so-called home matches. Especially the Atatürk’s Olimpiyat stadium’s many shortcomings proved to be a barrier for the home success of the Eagles. A combination of a poor quality pitch, heavy wind and a difficult location (in order for the fans to ge to the games) saw to it that the Black Eagles hadn’t won a single derby match in the previous 2 seasons on their own pitch, it wasn’t until this season’s 3-2 victory over Fenerbahçe and 2-1 victory over Galatasaray that the Black Eagles finally managed to benefit from their home advantage again in a big derby match.

But despite a disadvantage these past 3 seasons due to their home venue situation, the Black Eagles have recorded an impressive away record, especially the past two seasons. Partially thanks to their strong performances away from home the Black Eagles are now in a favourable position in the title race going in to the final 7 matches of the season.

With the team having their first ever training session on the hybrid pitch of the Vodafone Arena this past Saturday, the Black Eagles are now ready to open their new temple in style, hopefully with 3 crucial points which could prove deciding in the title race.

Beşiktaş will be overjoyed with the return of Gökhan Töre (injury) and perhaps even more by Ricardo Quaresma’s return who was dearly missed this past Monday as he was serving a yellow card suspension, without the Portuguese maestro’s flamboyant crosses from the wings the Black Eagles proved to severaly struggle against Kasimpaşa leading to a very dissapointing 2-1 defeat despite taking the lead.

But Monday’s opponent should not be underestimated, Bursaspor have no love lost for Beşiktaş and will surely be looking to spoil this historic party. Add to that that they could see themselves surpass Galatasaray were they to secure 3 points, something which their coach, Hamza Hamzaoglu, would surely take pride in after being shown the door by that same club earlier this season despite leading them to the double last season.

If Beşiktaş want to have atleast a 3 point advantage over rivals Fenerbahçe going in tot he final 6 matches of the season, they can’t settle for anything less than a point. A win could even become double sweet would Fenerbahçe drop points in their catch up game midweek away against rivals Galatasaray, although given the latter’s poor run of form in 2016 that may seem a bit unlikely.

Beşiktaş predicted XI:

Denys Boyko (Tolga Zengin); Andreas Beck – Necip Uysal (Alexis Delgado) – Marcelo Guedes – İsmail Köybaşı; Atiba Hutchinson – Oguzhan Özyakup – José Sosa; Ricardo Quaresma – Olcay Şahan (Gökhan Töre) – Mario Gómez

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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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