Two Istanbulite giants, Galatasaray and Beşiktaş, meet for the 341st time today at Türk Telekom Arena in Istanbul with the two teams in fierce competition for the title. Beşiktaş will start the Spor Toto Super League’s 22nd week as league leaders with 47 points. Galatasaray, who have disappointed this season, are seven points behind Beşiktaş, and if they lose today, the Yellow-Reds’ hopes will essentially fade. This derby is also crucial for Galatasaray’s new coach Igor Tudor, as he sits his first serious exam for the top job. Galatasaray fired their Dutch coach Jan Olde Riekerink after consecutive poor results. In 93 years of fierce competition between the two powerhouses, Galatasaray have dominated with 120 wins against Beşiktaş in 340 matches. Beşiktaş have won 107 derbies against Galatasaray, while drawing 113 matches. Beşiktaş have 447 goals against Galatasaray’s 480 goals.
The two sides met in a Turkcell Super Cup match ahead of this season, and the game ended in a 0-0 draw in the Konya Metropolitan Municipality Stadium. After the extended period in which the two teams drew 1-1, Galatasaray won the cup with penalty shots. In the first half of the 2016-2017 Spor Toto Super League season, the two teams drew 2-2 in Beşiktaş’s Vodafone Arena stadium. Galatasaray have also performed better in derbies against Beşiktaş in Spor Toto Super League matches, while the Lions have won 43 of the 117 matches. Beşiktaş have won 32 matches, while they have drawn in 42 matches.
Interestingly, penalties have been marking the derbies between the two teams in recent years. In the last 28 derbies between Galatasaray and Beşiktaş, referees have awarded the two teams 12 penalties. In the last eight matches, penalty shots have determined the winner. In another interesting statistic, the team that scored the first goal have lost only once in the last four years. The derby will be a battle between of TL 859 million ($238 million) worth of teams. According to data from the German website Transfermarkt, Beşiktaş’s market value is TL 478 million, while the Eagles are the second priciest team in Turkey. The third priciest team, Galatasaray, has a market value of TL 381 million. The other powerhouse, Fenerbahçe, is the priciest team in the Spor Toto Super League at around TL 543 million.
Comparing players at Beşiktaş and Galatasaray, Lions’ goalie Fernando Muslera comes to the fore. He is the most valuable player in the Spor Toto Turkish league at TL 53.3 million. Galatasaray’s Dutch star Wesley Sneijder is worth TL 34.3 million, with Bruma at TL 30.5 million and Lukas Podolski at TL 22,8 million. Beşiktaş’s priciest player is their midfielder Oğuzhan Özyakup at TL 47.6 million. Senegalese star striker Demba Ba, who can’t play due to injury, is the second priciest footballer for Beşiktaş at TL 47.5 million, while Vincent Aboubakar is worth TL 38 million and Caner Erkin is worth TL 34.3 million.
Elsewhere, Trabzonspor, who have performed superbly in the second half of the league, drew 1-1 in an away match against Atiker Konyaspor on Friday. The Black Sea side are the only team that hasn’t lost a match since the beginning of 2017. They won the first four matches in the Super League but drew in the last two matches. They collected only 18 points in the first half of the season compared to 14 points in six matches in the second half.