Two of Turkey’s fiercest rivals go head-to-head when Fenerbahce host Besiktas in an Instanbul derby on Sunday at 4:00pm (UK time).
Fenerbahce have made a strong start to the 2020/21 campaign, losing just one of their nine Super Lig matches so far to go joint-top of the table in a three-way split between themselves, Alanyaspor and Galatasaray.
After beating Genclerbirligi 5-1 in their last league match, Erol Bulut’s side dispatched Sivas Belediyespor 4-0 in the Turkish Cup, providing the perfect preparation for this age-old rivalry.
Besiktas, meanwhile, recovered from their 1-0 defeat to Gaziantep last month to beat fellow Istanbul side and reigning champions Başakşehir 3-2 last time out — a result which leaves them seventh in the table, seven points behind Fenerbahce, although they have a game in hand and can cut that gap here.
Can Besiktas win back-to-back Super Lig games against Fenerbahce since 2005 or will the home side beat their rivals for just the second time in five meetings?
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Fenerbahce & Besiktas’s previous line-ups:
- Fenerbahce (vs Sivas Belediyespor): Bayindir; Yildiz, Ciftpinar, Aziz, Erkin; Tufan, Faruk Beyaz; Thiam, Yandas, Kadioglu; Samatta.
- Besiktas (vs Istanbul Başakşehir): Yuvakuran; Tokoz*, Uysal, Montero, Yilmaz; Souza, Hutchinson; Ghezzal, Mensah, Larin; Aboubakar.
Harun Tekin and Tolga Cigerci are both sidelined with injury, while Nazim Sangare and Gokhan Gonul will be assessed prior to kick-off. Enner Valencia and Sinan Gumus are out for Fenerbahce.
Besiktas will be without Dorukhan Tokoz and Ersin Destanoglu through suspension. Domagoj Vida, Oguzhan Ozyakup and Ajdin Hasic are all sidelined.
Player to watch: Cyle Larin (Besiktas)
While Jonathan David has struggled to adjust to life at Lille this season, fellow Canadian Cyle Larin has thrived for Besiktas. The former Orlando City man has been with the Turkish giants since January 2018 but it has taken a loan spell with Belgian side Zulte Waregem for him to find his feet in Europe. Since returning to Besiktas this season, Larin has netted five goals in just 518 minutes of Super Lig action, while he also grabbed a goal against PAOK in the Champions League earlier in the campaign.
Larin is quick and skilful, and loves to commit defenders to one-on-one situations, beating his man before unleashing a shot at goal. What’s more, the 25-year-old has scored two of his five Super Lig goals this season with his head, proving he is a substantial aerial threat as well. Larin is the only Besiktas player to score more than two league goals so far this season and his wide skillset will be vital if the visitors are to breach a Fenerbache defence which has conceded just nine goals all season.
Also keep an eye on Fenerbahce’s Diego Perotti, who has scored three goals in just 155 Super Lig minutes since joining on a free transfer from Roma.
Super Lig 2020/21 recent form:
- Fenerbahce: WWWLW
- Besiktas: LWWLW
Scoreline prediction: Fenerbahce 2-2 Besiktas
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