Turkish League Previews & Predictions 12: The new Istanbul derby, Galatasaray take on pretenders to the throne Basaksehir
The current record for our picks stand at 27 wins 20 loss.
Besiktas vs Akhisar
The reigning champions are back after a poor run of of form and back with a bang. The Black Eagles have started to shift through the gears and have looked unstoppable. Besiktas will be without Caner Erkin who is suspended. Ironically their impressive displays have coincided with the Turkish international’s absence. What would be a major blow is if Pepe misses the game. The Portugal international is a doubt heading into the clash. Akhisar meanwhile are without the suspended Omer Bayram, the injured Olcan Adin and Hasan Ali Adiguzel. Besiktas are undefeated in their last 32 home games and we do not see that record changing on Friday.
Prediction: Besiktas Win
Bursaspor vs Goztepe
Two of the most exciting sides in the league go head to head. Bursaspor play aesthetically pleasing football under Paul Le Guen and while they have no problem scoring they also have no problem conceding. Goztepe have the same problem and this could make for an explosive affair. Bursaspor’s last six home games have gone Over 2.5 goals. Goztepe’s last seven games have gone Over 2.5 goals.
Prediction: Over 2.5 goals
Konyaspor vs Antalyaspor
Antalyaspor are in turmoil and Konyaspor simply cannot be trusted. Stay well clear of this one.
Basaksehir vs Galatasaray
Once upon a time this was a fixture nobody cared about. You still get traditionalists who refuse to accept this game as a derby. But in the literal sense of the word this is a derby. In fact in 2017 it is a major derby. A game that has the potential to have a major impact on the title race. Basaksehir are just three points behind leaders Galatasaray and are undefeated in their last four games. There is little to separate the two sides but what really stands out for me is that the home side have already beat Fenerbahce, held Trabzonspor and reigning champions Besiktas to a draw. I am taking nothing away from what Igor Tudor has achieved this season but he has struggled in the big games. Trabzonspor beat the Lions and Fenerbahce held them to a draw away from home. I am of the opinion that Abdullah Avci is a better tactician, perhaps the best in the league. His side are very well organised and will punish any mistakes. Tudor has yet to convince me that he is the right man for big games. I guess we will find out on Saturday.
Prediction: Basaksehir -0 (Draw No Bet)
Alanyaspor vs Malatyaspor
There is no point even trying to predict this game.
Genclerbirligi vs Kayserispor
Kayserispor will be without star man Deniz Turuc but they should still have enough firepower to dismantle a woeful Genclerbirligi side.
Prediction: Kayserispor +0.5 (Asian Handicap)
Trabzonspor vs Osmanlispor
A managerial change could be just what the doctor ordered for Trabzonspor. The Black Sea Storm fired Ersun Yanal and appointed Riza Calimbay. The squad were fed up of Ersun so this could end up being a clever move in retrospect. Trabzonspor have a squad easily capable of pushing for a top four spot. Expect a response.
Prediction: Trabzonspor Win
Fenerbahce vs Sivasspor
These are turbulent times for Fenerbahce. Aykut Kocaman is under immense pressure to get his faltering side back on track. Under normal circumstances the Yellow Canaries would be the obvious favourites at home. However they are navigating treacherous waters. Additionally they have a worrying injury crisis with Valbuena, Isla, Janssen, Neto, Ekici and Van Persie all out.
Karabukspor vs Kasimpasa
Karabukspor are in dreadful form but have Kasimpasa given us signs that they can be trusted? the answer is… NO.