Beşiktaş vs Fenerbahçe
Thursday 3rd May 2012 @ 18:00 GMT
Prediction: Over 2.5 @ 2.00
The situation at Beşiktaş continues going from bad to worse, they are now 17 points behind league leaders Galatasaray and following their loss to Fenerbahçe remained rock bottom at the foot of the bottom of the table. The team is demoralized, manager Tayfur Havutçu doesn't know whether he's coming or going and there have been disciplinary issues with Sidnei, Bebe and Alves off the field. In addition to this the Black Eagles were put on a 5 year probation by UEFA to sort out their mounting debt crisis making the days of uncontrolled spending and signing of big name players a thing of the past.
In all honestly Beşiktaş didn't play that bad, managed to take the lead and could have scored again were it not for the heroics of the opposition keeper, Volkan Demirel. However, once again the same defensive and goalkeeping problems came back to haunt the Black Eagles.
The Black Eagles are likely to keep with a 4-3-3 setup. Mustafa Pektemek will start upfront, with Holosko and Quaresma playing wide. Manuel Fernandes, Fabian Ernst and the ineffective Veli Kavlak make up the midfield trio. Ibrahim Toroman, Egemen Korkmaz, Roberto Hilbert and İsmail Köybaşı are likely to feature in defense.
Fenerbahçe have the mentality of champions, they know how to get the job done and whether it's by playing ugly or beautiful football they have come out on top in these playoffs. They showed character by coming back from behind to beat the Black Eagles last weekend. However, the Yellow Canaries also have some worrying concerns of their own. The biggest of theses is likelihood that goalkeeper Volkan Demirel will miss Thursday's encounter. The experienced Turkish international has been in fabulous form and his absence could be sorely felt. His replacement Mert Günok has conceded 8 goals in 5 competitive games this season. In addition, Alex De Souza is an injury doubt, Moussa Sow is definitely out with injury and Emre should be back in contention but maanger Aykut Kocaman is unsure of whether to make use of him.
Aykut Kocaman will be starting with Fener's customary 4-2-3-1 setup, however, if Alex De Souza is ruled out a switch to a 4-3-3- shape is likely with Semih upfront, Stoch on the left and Topuz on the right. We have been critical of Baroni's defensive work however, since been given a more attacking role he has been much better and looks more comfortable. He passes well, has good vision and if given space he has the ability to punish teams with long range shots.
Despite all their problems, playing against Beşiktaş in the Inonu stadium is always a tough. Fenerbahçe have the momentum, motivation and better form going into this game and know that they have to win at all costs to keep their title hopes alive. The main concern for either side is their goalkeeper's, it wouldn't even surprise anyone anymore if Cenk was to gift Fener a goal or make a serious blunder. The Yellow Canaries replacement keeper is inexperienced at this level. Fener have to play for the win while Beşiktaş are most effective when attacking so don't expect them to shy away at home. 5 out of the last 6 home games between the Black Eagles and Fener have gone Over 2.5 goals, I expect this trend to continue.
Predicting Over 2.5 goals
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Head to Head: 100 - 70 - 92
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