Istanbul’s big three fight for the title
With a remaining five fixtures in the league, each of the big three Istanbul clubs have a chance to win the championship. While football experts expect each team to win all remaining games, the most notable remaining fixture is the derby between Galatasaray and Besiktas set for 24 May. The winner of this game is expected to win the title this year. If neither Besiktas nor Galatasaray can leave the stadium with 3 points, Fenerbahce can move to the top in front of Besiktas and Galatasaray.
Weekend in review
Last Saturday Beşiktaş claimed a comfortable 2-0 away win over Trabzonspor on Sunday, reaching first place by goal difference, in the Turkish league.
Galatasaray kept its pace after clinching a 2-0 away victory over Akhisar, reaching second place despite having same points with Besiktas.
Fenerbahce earned 3 points following a hard fought 4-3 victory over relegation battlers Balikesirspor.
Fenerbahce, at 63 points, is in third position trailing Besiktas and Galatasaray.
Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray are currently tied for overall league wins with 19 titles each.
A roller coaster of a league
Slaven Bilic built a young, talented and a hard working team at Besiktas and impressed everyone with a convincing European performance however the fans are hungry for the league title. Despite knocking Liverpool out of UEFA cup, losing to Club Brugge disappointed many fans and Slaven Bilic’s poor record against Fenerbahce and Galatasaray is hanging like the sword of damocles over hid head.
Galatasaray had a very disappointing start to the season under Italian Prandelli’s administration following countless defeats at home and in European competitions. However under the reign of coach Hamza Hamzaoglu they started playing better and are entering the last weeks of the season on second position following the league leaders by goal average.
Fenerbahce was at the centre of media frenzy throughout the year. As if the sacking of the previous coach Ersun Yanal, the appointment of the inexperienced Ismail Kartal, the neverending antics of the veteran Emre Belozoglu and the underperfomance of the start strikers Emenike and Sow were not enough, the country was shocked once when the bus carrying Fenerbahce players while leaving Rize was attacked by gunmen. Although one can say Fenerbahce did well despite all these, we should bear in mind they did not play in Europe this year, meaning their players were more fresh compared to Galatasaray and Besiktas. Boasting a very strong squad, Fenerbahce will still be a contender until the last week despite the ongoing political battle with the Turkish government.
It has been a season to remember and with the championship staying up for grabs there is still more drama and history to be made.