Sports Mole previews Saturday’s Turkish Super Lig clash between Sivasspor and Fenerbahce, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Fenerbahce are currently sitting third in the Turkish Super Lig table, and their task to catch second-placed Konyaspor for a Champions League qualifications spot continues on Saturday, when they travel to Sivasspor.
The hosts seem far enough away from the relegation pack to avoid being dragged into a fight for survival, sitting nine points above 17th place, and they should not yet rule out a chance to push for a top-four finish.
Pedro Henrique got Sivasspor back into the game when he equalised from the penalty spot at the Goztepe Gursel Aksel Stadi, but 10 minutes from time the visitors allowed Goztepe to retake the lead through David Tijanic.
That loss was only Sivasspor’s second defeat in their last 10 matches across all competitions, meaning that they should still be confident heading into a tough test against Fenerbahce on Saturday.
Calimbay’s side’s record on home soil is a good one judging by the fact they have lost just once on their own patch in the league this season, but in the same breathe, they have only managed three victories in 11 matches, having drawn too many games at their home venue.
Sivasspor will be hoping that they can add three points to their current 16 points return from their matches in Sivas this campaign, and they could be confident about doing so, as Fenerbahce have not won away from home since November.
Ismail Kartal‘s reign at Fenerbahce has begun quite well after his new side followed up their draw against Antalyaspor with victory in the Turkish manager’s first home game last time out.
The home team in midweek completely dominated that game and deserved their three points, which is something that Kartal will be hoping his side can repeat this weekend, dominating possession and creating more chances in the final third than their opposition.
In doing so, the visitors will increase the likelihood of scoring more goals than Sivasspor, but it will also help Fenerbahce limit their hosts to few chances in front of goal also, as they did so against Altay.
Fenerbahce and Sivasspor played out a 1-1 draw during the last meeting between the sides in September, when Henrique’s penalty goal cancelled out Bright Osayi-Samuel‘s opening strike.
Sivasspor Turkish Super Lig form:
Sivasspor form (all competitions):
Fenerbahce Turkish Super Lig form:
Fenerbahce form (all competitions):
Calimbay will line his side up in a 4-1-4-1 formation, likely to be lead by experienced striker Mustapha Yatabare, although, James could also start as the lone striker for Sivasspor.
Young goalkeeper Osman Cetin made his first start of the season after replacing Berke Ozer between the posts with five minutes left to play against Antalyaspor due to injury, and the 18-year-old is likely to retain his place in the starting lineup.
Sivasspor possible starting lineup:
Vural; Ciftci, Camara, Osmanpasa, Oguz; Yigiter; Henrique, Kesgin, Cofie, Yesilyurt; Yatabare
Fenerbahce possible starting lineup:
Cetin; Szalai, Kim, Aziz, Osayi-Samuel; Sosa, Crespo; Rossi, Kahveci, Ozil; Dursun
We say: Sivasspor 1-2 Fenerbahce
Fenerbahce will be keen to record back-to-back wins in the league for the first time since September and they are likely to do so after Sivasspor’s confidence may have been knocked by their defeat last time out.
Kartal has seemingly had a positive impact on the Fenerbahce squad, and that is expected to help the visitors on Saturday massively in their hunt for three points.