It is derby time in Super League! An under-pressure Fenerbahçe will face wounded Galatasaray in its home and it will be a tough game as it has always been. Unfortunately, by the time you read this piece, the game will have already been played; therefore there is no need for me to analyze it. But, there are three other crucial and most probably entertaining games in Super League. As the title race became more egalitarian than ever, derbies are not the only games that matter.
I think the most important game this week, equal to the derby, is the game between league leaders Başakşehir and fifth place holder Beşiktaş.
Başakşehir has the best defensive record in the league this season and has conceded only four goals so far. Beşiktaş, on the other hand, is the second-best goal scorers. Thus, it will be a good test for both teams to evaluate the limits of their strategies. But I think that Başakşehir's organized defensive strategy is more reliable than Beşiktaş's chaotic offense.
Beşiktaş struggled to find opportunities against strict defenses so far, and Başakşehir will probably be the toughest opponent it will play against in the Super League. I expect Başakşehir to cripple Beşiktaş's offense by giving no time and space for its wingers – Lens and Quaresma.
In addition, despite some promising performances by striker Mustafa Pektemek last weekend, Beşiktaş still do not have a high-quality striker, like Başakşehir's Emmanuel Adebayor.
In another key match, second-place holder Kasımpaşa will face fourth-placed Antalyaspor in Istanbul. Kasımpaşa has been astonishing since the beginning of the season and with Mustafa Denizli as the coach, it has become a more reliable team.
Antalyaspor is coached by a very cautious trainer as well, Bülent Korkmaz. Although both teams are capable of scoring lots of goals, they will likely play defensively, forcing their opponents to leave lots of space in their half. This will lead to a controlled game, in which most probably Kasımpaşa will dominate possession as the host but would find it hard to find space inside a tight Antalyaspor defense. Still, it will be a great game to see how these teams organize their defensive actions to cripple their opponent.
And last but not the least, Trabzonspor needs a come out of a cycle of consecutive draws, but Bursaspor is not definitely the team it would take risks against. Coach Samet Aybaba's team missed three points against Galatasaray in Istanbul in extra time but proved itself to be an excellent away team.
Trabzonspor is not known for their defensive diligence, so I expect Bursa to score at least a goal and make things even harder for their opponent. Still, Trabzonspor's reckless but enthusiastic game sometimes explodes like a volcano, for most of the time it is silent but when it explodes, the results can be devastating for its opponents.