Fenerbahce is set to face off against Fatih Karagumruk at Sukru Saracoglu Stadium for an electrifying clash in the Turkish Super Lig’s 13th round on Sunday.
The upcoming match holds immense significance, especially considering Fatih Karagumruk’s attempts to break their seven-game winless streak against Fenerbahce and clinch consecutive victories for the first time since March.
In their recent fixture prior to the international break, Fenerbahce encountered a goalless draw against Adana Demirspor at the New Adana Stadium on November 12.
Ismail Kartal’s squad has faced a rough patch lately, failing to secure wins in their last three games across various competitions.
Their 2-0 loss to Ludogorets in the Conference League on November 9, followed by earning just one point in the last six available in the Super Lig, reflects their struggle.
However, despite the defeat against Ludogorets, Fenerbahce leads Group H in the Conference League, currently maintaining a two-point lead over the second-placed Nordsjaelland.
Returning home after two consecutive away games, the team aims to capitalize on their strong home record, winning 10 out of their last 11 matches in all competitions.
Their recent exception was a 3-2 defeat to Trabzonspor on November 4. At present, Fenerbahce sits atop the Super Lig standings with 31 points from 12 matches, marginally above Galatasaray based on goal difference.
Meanwhile, Fatih Karagumruk showcased a commendable performance during the international break by securing a 2-1 victory over Istanbul Basaksehir in a friendly fixture.
Their recent Super Lig outing displayed an impressive team effort resulting in a dominant 3-0 win against Sivasspor, with goals contributed by Valentin Eysserio, Guven Yalcin, and Serdar Dursun.
This victory signifies Fatih Karagumruk’s turnaround in recent weeks, as they’ve remained unbeaten in their last four games, comprising two wins and two draws after suffering a 2-1 defeat against Alanyaspor on October 6.
Notably, their defensive prowess has been pivotal in this resurgence, securing three clean sheets in the last four games, a stark contrast to conceding nine goals in the preceding eight matches.
Alparslan Erdem’s squad has accumulated 14 points from 12 Super Lig matches, including three wins, five draws, and four losses, positioning them 12th in the table, tied on points with 13th-placed Sivasspor.
Despite their recent form, Fatih Karagumruk faces the challenging task of breaking their winless streak against Fenerbahce in their seventh consecutive attempt since August 2020.
Fenerbahce’s Turkish Super Lig form: W W W W L D
Fenerbahce form (all competitions): W W W L L D
Fatih Karagumruk’s Turkish Super Lig form: L L W D D W
Fenerbahce enters the game without defensive players Alexander Djiku and Serdar Aziz due to a broken leg and ankle injury, respectively.
Brazilian midfielder Lincoln continues his recovery from an ankle injury sustained in March, while Luan Peres is sidelined with a knee problem.
Karagumruk continues to miss Nigerian midfielder Lawrence Nicholas, who has been out of action since suffering a groin injury in August’s league opener against Besiktas.
Federico Ceccherini’s injury during the Sivasspor game leaves him doubtful for the upcoming clash.
If unfit, Frederic Veseli may replace him, partnering with Davide Biraschi, Ibrahim Dresevic, and Levent Mercan in the defensive line.
Guven Yalcin, with three goals in his last five matches, is expected to lead Karagumruk’s attacking front alongside Valentin Eysseric, a former Fiorentina player.
Possible Starting Lineups:
Mulur, Oosterwolde, Akaydin, Kadioglu;
Kahveci, Szymanski, Tadic;
Biraschi, Dresevic, Ceccherini (or Veseli), Mercan;
Feghouli, Sangare, Rohden, Keles;
Despite Fenerbahce’s recent downturn, their offensive capability might steer them to a victory. Expect a resilient challenge from Karagumruk, yet the hosts seem poised to secure a 2-0 win in front of their fervent home supporters.