RACHEL – Attacking Bursaspor aiming for vital points at weakened EskiIehir

Attacking Bursaspor aiming for vital points at weakened EskiIehirBursaspor is not fighting for a Spor Toto Super League championship, but a berth in the UEFA competition next year, while Saturday opponent EskiIehirspor has the entirely different motivation of trying to keep itself in the Super League.The Green Crocs, as Bursaspor is affectionately known, lie in fifth place, battling it out with Istanbul BaIakIehir and Trabzonspor for a decent finish just below the Istanbul Big Three at the top of the tree.

EsEs is not quite relegation bound in its current position at 14th, but is just three points ahead of teams that are in serious trouble, which means points are in order if the club wants to secure its place in top-flight Turkish football.The Green Crocs have had relatively little time to prepare for Saturday nightand#39s encounter at EskiIehir, having played in the Ziraat Turkish Cup earlier this week, a match they drew 1-1 with GenlerbirliIi at home.

But Ienol GuneI has a dangerous team With Brazil striker Fernandao, who is level with BeIiktaIand#39s Demba Ba as the leagueand#39s top scorer with 14 goals, it is a wonder that Bursaspor is not doing even better Especially, when you consider that its French forward Cedric Bakambu also has eight goals.Renato Civelli is another dangerous player The Argentine defender is also good on the attack, which means EskiIehirspor will have to keep on its toes and defend across the pitch.

Banned, barred and injuredPoor fan behavior at Bursasporand#39s last match against Mersin Idman Yurdu has prompted the Turkish Football Federationand#39s Professional Football Disciplinary Board (PFDK) to fine the club TL 300,000 and close its stands for one match.At least Bursaspor won the Mersin match, but not without damage.

Goalkeeper Harun Tekin earned a red card in the 17th minute, which means he will miss the match with EsEs. Otherwise, Ienol GuneIand#39s side is in good orderEskiIehirspor didnand#39t escape the PFDKand#39s eye either The club was fined TL 10,500 for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Worse, Nigeria midfielder Raheem Adewole Lawal has been banned for three matches for a dangerous foul, for which he earned a red card in the 18th minute of EskiIehirand#39s 3-0 loss at aykur Rizespor last weekend.German coach Michael Skibbe will have to inspire his team to perform much better against a dangerous Bursaspor this weekend.

And he must manage without injured Germany-born forwards Mirkan AydIn and mer IiImanoIlu or Ghana defender Jerry Akaminko. He will rely on the attacking abilities of Argentine striker Rogelio Funes Mori.

andldquoI expect of my team the same performance they put on in the BeIiktaI match. Unfortunately there are injuries,andrdquo Skibbe said on the cluband#39s official website eses.

tv. andldquoWe are going to fight hard against Bursaspor and come away with a good result.

We are going to play an offensive game, not the defensive match we played against aykur Rizespor,andrdquo he added.Doing without two of his forwards may prove to be difficult, but certainly not impossible.

Bursa is favored on paper but is by no means an undefeatable foe. EsEs proved two weeks ago that it can upset a team like the high-flying Black Eagles, so Bursa should watch out.

The match kicks off at 7 pm and will be officiated by FIrat AydInus. It remains to be seen whether he will earn the approval of GuneI, who made a general complaint about the state of officiating in Turkey following the Turkish Cup match.

Earlier in the day, cellar dweller BalIkesirspor hosts aykur Rizespor at 4 pm and SAI Erciyesspor hosts GenlerbirliIi at 1:30 pm.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman