ESRA – Eagles aim to hang on to fragile lead in Konya clash

Eagles aim to hang on to fragile lead in Konya clashBeIiktaI, aka the Black Eagles, is just one point clear at the top of the Spor Toto Super League and an away victory over Torku Konyaspor on Sunday might be the only chance to maintain the lead for coach Slaven Bilicand#39s men.The Istanbul club is on a six-match winning streak in the Super League but lost its two recent games in the Turkish Cup tournament.

The Eagles were stunned 2-1 by second division Adana Demirspor on Wednesday with a lineup mostly composed of second-choice players while Bilicand#39s injury-prone key weapons were missing. Challenged by a tight schedule, the Turkish Cup might be the lowest priority for BeIiktaI, but the Super League means a lot and the club does not wish to falter Galatasaray and Fenerbahe, ranked second and third, respectively, are looking out to get the lead and BeIiktaI maintains a one-point aantage over Galatasaray and two over Fenerbahe.

Several walking wounded at BeIiktaI are likely to return to action on Sunday. Arguably the most awaited player is Senegalese striker Demba Ba, the teamand#39s top scorer Ba has been sidelined for over two weeks while he made a 10-minute appearance last weekend in the Akhisar Belediyespor match, which increased the pain in his toe.

Bilic left Ba out of his Turkish Cup roster this week to keep him for the Super League challenges and the Senegalese is likely to be ready for the Konyaspor match.Brazilian defender Ramon Motta and Czech defender Tomas Sivok are also expected to make it to the Sunday clash.

Back from a minor injury, striker Cenk Tosun, who impressed with his performance in the absence of the top-choice strikers, made it back to the training sessions by Saturday and he is ready to play should Bilic field himThe hero of the week, Veli Kavlak will be another key player for Bilic in the Konyaspor match. He gained appreciation with his sportsmanlike gesture during the Turkish Cup match on Wednesday.

He prevented the ref of the Demirspor match from making a mistake by telling him that a Demirspor player deserved not the red card but yellow — even though it came at the expense of BeIiktaIand#39s win on Wednesday.Under the tutelage of Aykut Kocaman, Konyaspor conceded a total of 10 goals in the last two games and became the fourth team with the worst goal difference, also dropping to 12th spot.

The Central Anatolian club will definitely have it hard against BeIiktaI, the second team to have conceded the least goals, 12.Bilicand#39s side has positive memories regarding the venue of the game: Konya BuyukIehir Stadium Without a home stadium this season, BeIiktaI has been trying out different places to entertain its opponents and in the Trabzonspor derby three weeks ago, the Eagles clinched a commanding 3-0 win in KonyaOther matches of the day: Akhisar Belediyespor vs.

aykur Rizespor, KasImpaIa vs. Sivasspor, and Gaziantepspor vs.

BursasporBa happy with life in TurkeyThe former Chelsea striker continues to receive kudos from all football lovers in the nation, who look forward to watching him play again. In his remarks to the magazine of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Demba Ba has said he is happy to work in a predominantly Muslim country, one in which he leads a comfortable life and can focus on his career Ba, a Muslim football player, is known for his religious sentiments.

While comparing the Turkish league with other major European football leagues, the striker said there is a much more emotional approach to football in Turkey.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman