RACHEL – Galatasaray seeks points and vengeance against BaIakIehir

Galatasaray seeks points and vengeance against BaIakIehirThe mighty Lions of Galatasaray will aim to sustain their tenuous lead in the Spor Toto Super League table this weekend when they face Istanbul BaIakIehir looking for vengeance at home.BaIakIehir is not a typical first-time top flighter In years past the club may have gone by a different name, called a different stadium home and played in the lower rungs of Turkish football, but it is no pushover The club spent just one year in the PTT League 1 after having a bad season two years ago.

This year it came back with a vengeance, which Galatasaray is painfully aware of.When the two teams met in BaIakIehirand#39s new Fatih Terim Stadium in week seven, the home team clobbered the Lions with a surprise 4-0 win.

Galatasaray, still under the management of Italian coach Cesare Prandelli at the time, left with nothing more than two yellow cards and a sudden drop from second place to fifth. That the Lions are now in first place with a different coach means nothing to BaIakIehirBrazilians to fearBrazilian midfielder Jose Marcio da Costa, better known as Mossoro, hit Galatasaray for two goals back in October His countryman and fellow midfielder Doka Madureira scored another and yet another goal was scored by an old enemy of the Lions, former Fenerbahe forward Semih Ienturk.

What Abdullah AvcIand#39s BaIakIehir is shooting for is a ticket to UEFA competition, for which they are jostling around with Trabzonspor and Bursaspor in the standings. BaIakIehir has lost just one match since the winter break, but has formed a nasty habit of drawing.

Its most recent match was last weekand#39s 0-0 draw to Torku Konyaspor But against the Lions, a draw would be a blessing for AvcIand#39s men.Galatasaray has a better chance this time around, since the match is taking place at its own Turk Telekom Arena It also has a new coach, a better recent track record and an almost completely healthy rosterSemih will be an unwelcome reminder of last week for Galatasaray.

The club is still hearing analysis from the match it narrowly lost to ultimate rival Fenerbahe on Sunday. Fenerbahe did not pass the Lions for the leadership position, but came within one point.

The loss of points also allowed BeIiktaI to draw even with Galatasaray, as each now has 51 points while Fenerbahe has 50.Galatasaray unitedMeanwhile, in addition to preparing for upcoming matches, coach Hamza HamzaoIlu and long-time defender Sabri SarIoIlu have been busy trying to diffuse rumors that Sabri is fighting with Seluk Inan.

andldquoWe all only have Galatasarayand#39s best interests in mind,andrdquo HamzaoIlu said. andldquoWhen people have nothing to criticize about our game, they try to get us with these types of things,andrdquo he added.

andldquoEveryone is trying to drag us down, but we are a family that gets better when we are pushed. As footballers and as a team we have our hearts set on the championship,andrdquo Sabri said.

andldquoWe are again experiencing the same things we have been seeing for years. Just when we have secured great momentum with the arrival of coach Hamza, we lose once and everyone is writing these scenarios to drag down Galatasaray, the best candidate for the championship,andrdquo he noted.

A win last weekend would have all but secured the championship for the Lions, but it was not to be. The close title race is liable to extend right down to the end of the season.

After the big derby last week and the media fallout, Galatasaray needs a morale-boosting, point-earning mini derby win over BaIakIehirKickoff is at 7 pm and the referee is Bulent YIldIrIm In other Saturday matches, aykur Rizespor hosts Sivasspor in a battle to avoid the relegation zone at 4 pm Akhisar Belediye Genlik ve Spor plans to crush penultimate Kardemir Karabukspor at home at 1:30 pm.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman