After the 5-0 defeat against Bayern Munich in the Champions League, a fourth-placed Beşiktaş will host Fenerbahçe in a critical Super League derby Sunday. The match will be key for Beşiktaş, firstly because the Eagles would want to heal the wounds they picked up in Munich Wednesday.
Following the defeat, coach Şenol Güneş said he has no hope of advancing to the next round of the Champions League and would focus on the local league. Beşiktaş, who are currently placed fourth in the league, will also be looking for a win if they want to close down the point gap with title competitors, Fenerbahçe, Galatasaray and table topper Medipol Başakşehir.
Third-placed Fenerbahçe and runner-up Galatasaray are tied with 44 points while Beşiktaş has 41. The leader Başakşehir, on the other hand, holds a five-point lead over the current champion.
Most importantly, Beşiktaş players would want to bounce back from the Bayern defeat and help their fans overcome the agony.
Fenerbahçe, however, is in top form as it remains undefeated for 21 games. The Yellow Canaries are also known for their success in derbies. They have not lost once in the last nine Super League derbies, winning four and drawing five. Fenerbahçe is also undefeated against Beşiktaş for five games. In comparison, Beşiktaş remains undefeated in 37 league matches at its home, Vodafone Park. Medipol Başakşehir will host Gençlerbirliği on Monday.
Separately, former Beşiktaş striker Cenk Tosun believes that he can put his slow start at his new club Everton behind him and adapt to the rigours of the Premier League. Tosun arrived from Beşiktaş in January on a 4-1/2 year contract with the promise of goals, but the Turkish striker is yet to find the net in his first three league appearances. The 26-year-old was relegated to the bench in Everton’s last three league matches with manager Sam Allardyce suggesting that the striker needed more time to cope with the physicality of English football.
“The first few weeks were difficult maybe for my body and the adjustment, but I can feel already that I’m adapting and I’m more comfortable now,” Tosun told the club’s website (www.evertonfc.com).
“The Premier League is more physical than how the game is played in Turkey, but I like this. I really enjoy the high-tempo of the game here. It’s hard physically, it’s a tough game, but I embrace this,” he added.
Tosun, who had scored 14 goals in 24 appearances for Beşiktaş this campaign before his switch, said the club’s warm-weather training camp in Dubai this week had helped him bond with his new team mates.
“I’ve settled in well, I really believe that. The training camp in Dubai was perfect to help me adapt even further to my new surroundings, my new club, a new league,” he said. “Team-bonding is very important and getting to know your team mates as the people they are, as individuals.
“We trained hard, with sessions on the grass followed by gym sessions and then recuperation in the late afternoons. The temperatures were hot and we worked hard each day.”