Cellar-dweller EskiIehir hosts newcomer OsmanlI in opener

Eskiiehirspor, one of the two teams with the Spor Toto Super League’s worst offense and defense, hosts inconsistent Ankara newcomer Osmanlispor in the opening game of week 11 at Atatandurk Stadium on Friday evening.
The other match of the day pits Genandclerbirliii against second-from-last Mersin idman Yurdu in the capital. The game starts at 8 p.m.
EsEs, as Eskiiehirspor is popularly called, was walloped 2-0 by star-studded Fenerbahandce in the league opener in Istanbul on Aug. 8. But the following week, on Aug. 23 to be exact, EsEs stumbled upon a winning formula when it thrashed another struggler, Medicana Sivasspor, 4-2 at home.
Ever since the team has remained winless, drawing only one of its eight league games. And with only four points out of a possible 36 from one win, one draw and eight defeats, Eskiiehirspor faces a long season ahead.
As a matter of fact, EsEs sacked German coach Michael Skibbe last month and hired former Fenerbahandce trainer ismail Kartal in his stead. But the Central Anatolian team — crushed 4-0 by defending champion Galatasaray in Istanbul in week 10 — has not changed one bit under the new coach.
Kartal is hard pressed to turn the tide in EsEs’ favor. But the team seems so prone to defeat that it just cannot think otherwise. Nor will the coach’s cause be helped by injuries to veteran Greek striker Theofanis Gekas, keeper Ali iaial Vural and center back Birol Parlak.
The trio missed practice sessions this week, and some are doubtful about Osmanlispor. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.


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