Galatasaray takes on BeIiktaI in potential league title decider

The moment of truth has arrived for the Spor Toto Super League as Galatasaray might secure the league crown with one match to spare when it entertains depleted Beiiktai in the long-awaited derby of the season at Tandurk Telekom Arena on Sunday.
The derby in the penultimate week portends to solve the mysteries of the Super League — not only the champions but the second ticket to the big-time European Champions League. Leader Galatasaray is three points clear of its nearest follower Fenerbahandce and it has a seven-point aantage over Beiiktai. The Black Eagles, as Beiiktai is called, ended its race for the title with a whimper after it lost 1-0 to Torku Konyaspor on Monday.
Galatasaray will look to beat Beiiktai and wait for Fenerbahandce to lose points in the Istanbul Baiakiehir match on Sunday to win its 20th title as well as a fourth star on their jerseys, which this season has been all about for Galatasaray and Fenerbahandce. If both top-two sides win, the title race will only be resolved in the final week. In the event that Galatasaray drops points and Fenerbahandce wins, the three-point margin get smaller to throw the battle wide open for the two archrivals.
Coach Hamza Hamzaoilu has opted to keep his regulars on the sidelines in a Turkish Cup match during the week to make sure they will be ready and rested before the derby.
Midfielder Selandcuk inan has been undergoing a special treatment to totally recover from his injury and make it to the Beiiktai match. Hamzaoiluand’s alternatives for the top-choice midfielder are Emre andcolak, who scored his teamand’s only goal on Tuesday to pave the way for the Turkish Cup final, and newly recovering Hamit Altintop. Defender Aurelien Chedjou has returned to light training following his injury but will probably miss out on action on Sunday.
Hamzaoilu said at an opening this week that they aim to reach the title with a good game in front of their home audiences. andquotWeand’ve come this far very well. It wonand’t be an easy match. Weand’ll do everything we can to win,andquot he noted.
Galatasaray does not give Beiiktai much of a chance in front of its home crowd. Since 1996, the two sides played 19 league matches and Beiiktai came back with a victory solely three times while two others ended in a draw and the Lions won 14.
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As for Beiiktai, there has not been much good news lately. It took only three weeks to almost ruin what the team has built for months since the beginning of the season. The latest episode from glory to burnout and destruction was a 1-0 defeat at the hands of a mediocre Torku Konyaspor, which extended the winless streak of the Eagles to three games.
Coach Slaven Bilicand’s future at the club is seriously in jeopardy with consecutive disappointing results however, he has been reported to be on the bench in the remaining two games.
Media reports suggest the Beiiktai administration is already out to look for a new coach while Beiiktai press speaker Metin Albayrak told reporters on Wednesday that the club is not searching for a new coach with Bilicand’s contract still valid.
Under the helm of Croatian Bilic, Beiiktai has not won a single Istanbul derby against Galatasaray or Fenerbahandce. In fact, the bad luck of the Eagles against its eternal foes dates back further and in their last 11 clashes at Galatasarayand’s cauldron, Beiiktai only once defeated Galatasaray.
Even though Bilicand’s side has left no chance on the title, Beiiktai needs a victory over Galatasaray and hope for Fenerbahandce to lose on Monday to get the second spot and earn a Champions League ticket.
Beiiktai has one of the most sensational strikers of the Super League to use against the Lions: Senegalese star Demba Ba. Paired with newly recovered midfielder GandOkhan TandOre, Ba can cause serious damage on Sunday. Second-choice goalkeeper Cenk GandOnen is also expected to be back in action after leaving his place to third-choice Gandunay Ganduvenandc.
Other matches on Sunday: KDandc Karabandukspor vs. Medicana Sivasspor and Gaziantepspor vs. Eskiiehirspor.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman