STSL week 31: Bursaspor – Beşiktaş

Updated: May 15, 2017

Beşiktaş stand ahead of one of four remaining crucial games in the 2016/17 season, after dropping 5 precious points over the past two matches.

 The Black Eagles were firmly in pole position just two weeks ago, but after a defeat at the hands of Başakşehir and a shocking last second draw against a 9-man Fenerbahçe side, Beşiktaş have lost their 7 point lead at the top, but still have a game in hand. That game being against rivals Bursaspor, who have been on a terrible run of form over the past 6 months. With Bursaspor’s recent terrible results there will be a lot of pressure on their players to halt rivals Beşiktaş in their title aspirations, but Beşiktaş can not afford to drop any points. A point would bring the Black Eagles back on level terms but it wouldn’t be enough to win the title at the end of the road seeing as Beşiktaş have a negative head to head with rivals Başakşehir.

With four matches remaining Beşiktaş are still guaranteed their second consecutive title should they win all of their remaining matches, but with Başakşehir already having played earlier in the weekend they have (temporarely) taken first place after a 2-1 victory over Gençlerbirligi.

Bursaspor have suspended their own players Deniz Yilmaz and Yonathan Del Valle citing ‘diciplinary’ reasons and have recently sacked coach Mutlu Topcu, that however did not prove to have the desired effect as they were trashed by 16th placed Rizespor 6-0 last week. While already having suffered a 5-0 home defeat at the hands of Galatasaray the week prior and a 5-1 away defeat against Akhisar. All of that however does not guarantee Beşiktaş an easy evening in Bursa tonight. Bursaspor’s fans are expected to show up in large numbers whilst allied fans of Ankaragücü are also expected to travel to Bursa to support their allies. The crowd will firmly be behind the home side but as has been the case in recent weeks, an early goal could disrupt Bursaspor quickly.

The key will indeed be getting that early goal, but Beşiktaş need to have learned their lesson and not sit on a one goal lead. With their faith still in their own hands, the Black Eagles can only keep it that way with a victory. Should Beşiktaş come out on top, they’ll retake first place in the standings. Giving them a slight advantage heading in to matchday 32 as Beşiktaş will play first on the weekend, hosting Kasimpaşa at Vodafone Arena, while Başakşehir face Trabzonspor away and also have a midweek Turkish cup game against Fenerbahçe in the semi-finals.

While Bursaspor have issued their own suspensions, Beşiktaş are without talisman Anderson Talisca who has been suspended for one game by the Turkish Football Federation for flipping off Fenerbahçe goalkeeper Volkan Demirel in last weekend’s derby game.

Atiba Hutchinson is expected to make his return to the team following his injury two weeks ago against Başakşehir, which made him miss last weekend’s derby, while Tolgay Arslan will also retain his place in the starting lineup followin Anderson Talisca’s suspension. Dusko Tosic will also return, as he missed the last game via yellow card suspension.

Spor Toto Süper Lig
Bursaspor – Beşiktaş JK
Location: Bursa Büyükşehir Beleidye stadium
Referee: Bülent Yildirim
Date: Monday, May 15th
Time: 20:00 (CET)
Channel: Bein Sports Türkiye
Matchday 31

Beşiktaş predicted XI:

Fabricio Ramirez; Gökhan Gönül – Marcelo Guedes – Dusko Tosic – Adriano Correia; Atiba Hutchinson – Oğuzhan Özyakup – Tolgay Arslan; Ricardo Quaresma – Vincent Aboubakar – Ryan Babel

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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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