Galatasaray vs. Fenerbahçe: Super Cup Clash in Riyadh for Turkish Supremacy

Galatasaray's supporters celebrate their 2017-2018 champion title in Istanbul on May 19, 2018, after the Turkish Spor Toto Super league football match between Goztepe and Galatasaray which Galatasaray won 1-0. - Galatasaray have won the Turkish Super League for the 21st time. (Photo by OZAN KOSE / AFP) (Photo credit should read OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images)

Friday sees Istanbul’s fiercest rivals, Galatasaray and Fenerbahçe, collide in the Saudi Arabian desert for the coveted Turkish Super Cup.

The Lions, defending champions, aim to roar past the Yellow Canaries and conclude the year with a trophy. Both teams come off a goalless draw in the Süper Lig just five days ago, but this high-stakes rematch promises fireworks.

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The last ten clashes have seen Galatasaray hold the upper hand: four wins, two draws, and four clean sheets against Fenerbahçe’s six goals conceded. However, injuries to key players like Davinson Sanchez and Sergio Oliveira pose a challenge for Okan Buruk’s Lions.

Buruk, no stranger to derby glory, led Galatasaray to 3-0 victories in both derbies last season and remains unbeaten against Fenerbahçe in three clashes, with the Lions scoring six goals and conceding none.

Their defensive prowess extends beyond the derby, with the second-best offense in the Süper Lig and the fewest goals conceded.

All eyes will be on Mauro Icardi, Galatasaray’s Argentine goal machine. With 17 goals this season, including five in the Champions League, he’s a constant threat. But beware the likes of Kerem Aktürkoğlu, Wilfried Zaha, and the experienced duo of Dries Mertens and Hakim Ziyech.

The Super Cup has been Galatasaray’s domain, with six titles since its 2006 revival. With €2 million for the winner and €1.4 million for the runner-up, the financial incentive adds another layer of spice to this fiery encounter.