Fener aims for Basaksehir win, hopes Besiktas stumbles

The match kicks off at 7 p.m. on Sunday. In other matches, Genclerbirligi hosts Sivasspor at 2 p.m. and Kayserispor hosts Akhisar Belediyespor at 1 p.m.

On Saturday, coachless Antalyaspor hosts Mersin İdman Yurdu and Caykur Rizespor hosts neighbor Trabzonspor at 7 p.m. Cellar-dweller Eskisehirspor welcomes Gaziantepspor at 4 p.m. and Kasımpasa hosts Torku Konyaspor at 1:30 p.m.

Canaries through

The Yellow Canaries have been creeping up on Besiktas’s league leadership for a while. Two weeks ago they had even surpassed the Eagles, but a draw with Gaziantepspor last weekend allowed Besiktas back on top. The Black Eagles have to host Galatasaray in a derby on Monday, offering Fenerbahce the hope that they will again drop points.

In anticipation of that possibility, Vitor Pereira’s men have every intention of crushing Basaksehir, the fifth team in the standings. They are happy to be advancing in the UEFA Europa League after a draw with Celtic in the last group stage matchday on Thursday.

And the match will be at home, where the Canaries rarely lose. But Basaksehir will be no pushover. Abdullah Avcı’s men have not lost since week 7, when they lost to Galatasaray.

For Fenerbahce’s part, they have a few days to prepare for the match and come down off the excitement of advancing in Europa. The club has big goals at home and abroad, and they are starting to show signs of coming to fruition.

“I gave my word at the beginning of the season. I promised we would be a team that plays aggressive, shows its character and knows how to keep possession of the ball,” Pereira said after the Celtic match. The club is succeeding in that regard, with or without all 11 players on the pitch, so Abdullah Avcı’s men had best be careful.

New chairman, new start

With a brand new chairman in Muharrem Usta, Trabzonspor is looking for a new beginning. Sadi Tekelioglu was in charge of the club in the wake of Shota Arveladze’s departure, but with no plan for the future, Trabzon’s situation is uncertain. The new chairman decided to give Tekelioglu an interim contract until winter break. After that is anyone’s guess.

Trabzon has a lot of untapped talent throughout the squad and a good offense in Paraguay forward Oscar Cardozo. Tekelioglu made an impact in the squad when he gave Muhammet Besir his first shot at a Super League match against Eskisehir and the young forward scored soon after.

The Black Sea Storm is in eighth place amid its troubles and it will head to Rize for a match with its neighbor, which is now in ninth place. Tekelioglu has led the Storm to two victories and one loss to Fenerbahce since he took over the reins, while Rize has lost its last two matches.

“We are going through a [difficult] time. The environment of uncertainty shows in the team. We had wanted to provide our fans with a win over Fenerbahce at such a time, but it did not happen,” Tekelioglu said. And few people would fault them for losing an away match with one of the League’s top contenders, but Tekelioglu must keep racking up points to restore people’s faith in the team.

The point gathering has already begun, but must continue through matches against smaller clubs such as Rizespor. The team and coach are still unproven in the big matches.