STSL week 26: Beşiktaş – Gençlerbirliği

Updated: April 2, 2017

After back-to-back draws in the league, Beşiktaş can not afford to drop points yet again. Especially given the surprising defeat of closest rivals Istanbul Başakşehir at the hands of Akhisar Belediyespor yesterday.

Beşiktaş have never lost points more t han twice in a row under Şenol Güneş and should they defeat  Gençlerbirliği at the Vodafone Arena, they will see their lead at the top of the table expand to 5 points, a welcome bonus headed in to next week’s match away at Trabzonspor while Başakşehir host Galatasaray.

Cenk Tosun has scored 22 goals for club and country this season, but can he add to his 16 Süper Lig goals and establish himself more firmly as the league’s topscorer?

But it’s far from a given that the Black Eagles simply beat Gençlerbirliği, the Ankara side held the reigning champions to a 1-1 draw earlier in the season at the 19 Mayis and may again ruin the Eagles’ party. The visitors however haven’t beaten the Black Eagles in Istanbul in more than 16 years during the 2000/01 season. The Black Eagles still remain undefeated at home in the league at t heir Vodafone Arena and have only squandered points on 3 occassions, most recently in a 2-2 draw against Kayserispor.

Apart from the suspended Vincent Aboubakar, Beşiktaş have a full squad at their disposal with even Caner Erkin and Demba Ba being available now to Şenol Güneş, although both still lack match fitness. Caner recently played in a friendly match against Astra Giurgiu but Demba Ba was still being spared, both players are expected to be fully ready to play in the upcoming weeks.

Gençlerbirliği are a defensively difficult side to break down and have qome quick attackers in ex-Beşiktaş winger Aydin Karabulut and of course their talisman Serdar Gürler, while Vedat Muriqi creates trouble up top. The experienced former Turkish international Selçuk Şahin sets our the lines from the heart of midfield while new addition Luccas Claro has proven to be a sturdy addition to their backline. Gençlerbirliği had made a great start to the season but fell in to a bit of a slump after matchday 8, with the death of legendary chairman Ilhan Cavcav their woes continued but they’ve recently been picking up more points again and have never been in any relegation danger this season and currently comfortably sit in 10th place.

Spor Toto Süper Lig
Beşiktaş JK – Gençlerbirliği SK
Location: Vodafone Arena
Referee: Serkan Cinar
Date: Sunday, April 2nd
Time: 18:00 (CET)
Channel: Bein Sports Türkiye
Matchday 26

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

Gençlerbirliği predicted XI:

Johannes Hopf; Ahmet Oğuz – Luccas Claro – Syarhey Palitsevich – Uğur Çiftçi; Selçuk Şahin – Murat Duruer – Abdul Khalili; Serdar Gürler – Vedat Muriqi – Aydin Karabulut

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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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