OKAN UDO – Canaries aim for the top as they face Erciyes away

Canaries aim for the topas they face Erciyes awayThe top spot of the Spor Toto Super League has been changing hands on a daily basis for several weeks now. That could happen again on Friday when defending champion Fenerbahe takes on Suat AltIn InIaat Kayseri Erciyesspor in the week 14 curtain raiser at the ultra-modern Kadir Has Stadium on Friday.

The Yellow Canaries go into this match in third place with 27 points from 13 games, trailing second place Galatasaray by one and leader BeIiktaI by two. This means Fenerbahe would leapfrog both Galatasaray and BeIiktaI into first place if it wins at Kayseri on Friday.

However, everything will return to square one if Galatasaray beats Mersin Idmanyurdu at home on Saturday and BeIiktaI triumphs over visiting Gaziantepspor the following day.But, first things first.

The Canaries therefore will first strive to overcome Erciyesspor and wait for the outcome of the matches involving their rivals. Ismail Kartalandrsquos Canaries have shown consistency in the last three games in all competitions.

They beat bottom club BalIkesir away 1-0 in week 12, crushed struggling Sivasspor 4-1 at home in Istanbul in week 13 last Friday and thrashed fourth division Bayburt Grup zel Idare 3-1 in the Turkish Cup on Tuesday.Confident CanariesConfidence at the Fener camp, without an iota of doubt, is sky high ahead of the clash against Kayseri Erciyesspor However Kartal may be missing Cameroon forward Pierre Webo, who suffered a knock during Tuesdayandrsquos game against BayburtsporThe good news is that left winger Caner Erkin, who collapsed at an Istanbul restaurant this week, has recovered and returned to training with the rest of the team Club doctors said he is fit as a fiddle and can resume competitive action.

In Weboandrsquos absence, Kartal is almost certainly going to start with Nigerian forward Emmanuel Emenike and Senegal striker Moussa Sow upfront, with Dutchman Dirk Kuyt as the second striker There is a great gulf in class between Fenerbahe and Kayseri Erciyesspor hence, the Canaries are expected to carry the day if they keep their eyes on the prize.However, this is football that at times can be as unpredictable as an African black mamba Put another way, no game is won or lost until it is played and so the Canaries cannot count their chickens before theyandrsquore hatched.

UIur Tutunekerandrsquos Erciyesspor is the underdog, but Kartal and his Canaries should not expect an easy win. Erciyesspor may be weakened if injured striker Ilhan Parlak, Senegal forward Abdou Kader Mangane and Cameroon midfielder Georges Constant Mandjeck do not recover before match time.

The odds notwithstanding, Kayseri Erciyesspor is expected to put up a good fight. Kickoff is at 8 pmEasy win for EskiIehir in Ziraat Turkish CupErtuIrul SaIlamandrsquos team easily beat visiting second division side DiyarbakIr BuyukIehir Belediyespor 3-0 in Group G of the Ziraat Turkish Cup at Ataturk Stadium on Wednesday.

German-born defender Berkay Tolga DabanlI opened the scoring in the 25th minute, 23-year-old Argentine striker Rogelio Gabriel Funes Mori made it 2-0 in the 55th and Hamburg-born forward mer IiImanoIlu sealed the deal in the first minute of added time. Elsewhere, Gaziantepspor and Gaziantep BuyukIehir Belediyespor shared the spoils after a 0-0 draw in Group A Kardemir Karabukspor and Istanbul BaIakIehir drew 2-2 in an all Super League clash in Group D Cizrespor won 2-1 at Giresunspor in Group H Manisaspor beat Keirengucu in Group B and Mersin Idmanyurdu defeated Samsunspor 3-1 in Group C Istanbul Todayandrsquos Zama.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman