Although league leader Başakşehir is playing Sivasspor in the match of the week, the most important game of the season will be played between Galatasaray and Beşiktaş.
The title race has evolved to a point that no one expected it to be mid-season. Currently, Başakşehir has 62 points, followed by Galatasaray and Beşiktaş with 60 and 59 points, respectively. Contrary to the standings, the current form of these teams is in reverse order, as Başakşehir lost 10 points in their last five games and Beşiktaş has won six in a row. So, everyone is fair game now and if Başakşehir drops points against Sivasspor, both Galatasaray and Beşiktaş have a chance to overthrow Başakşehir from its throne. However, the big question is who is going to win the derby? Or, as Başakşehir hopes, is it going to end in a draw? I think just like the championship race, the derby is fair game as well. Both Galatasaray and Beşiktaş have some serious fundamental problems and essentially play a chaotic game. Therefore, individual talents will most probably determine the outcome of the game and it will definitely be a close call.
In terms of individual talents, I think both teams are matched equally. Both are the top two scoring teams in the Turkish Süper Lig. Nonetheless, Galatasaray may have a slight defensive edge and Beşiktaş slight advantage in the offense.
When Galatasaray wants to block out its opponents from infiltrating into the penalty box, it is usually successful. Beşiktaş, on the other hand, with its sensational forward Burak Yılmaz scoring 11 goals in 12 games, has most of the time found ways to score against tough opponents. Thus, the result will depend on how much the Black Eagles can best utilize their characteristics. But there is a strange twist to the plot, Galatasaray is playing at home and will feel the pressure of victory more than Beşiktaş. This means that both teams will be forced to do what they are not so good at, Galatasaray will attack and Beşiktaş will defend. In that sense, it will also be a good test of versatility, whether these teams can properly attack and defend at the same time.
Galatasaray needs to push back Beşiktaş to its penalty box and prevent it from launching counterattacks. Beşiktaş, meanwhile, needs to prevent Galatasaray from building-up in its half, so that it can intercept the ball closer to Galatasaray's goal.
I think the main battle will be between Beşiktaş's core, consisting of Adem Ljajic, Atiba Hutchinson and Dorukhan Toköz, as opposed to Galatasaray's core, with Fernando, Badou Ndiaye and Younes Belhanda.
Whoever will assume control in the middle of the park will probably shape the flow of the game. I expect both teams to score goals, as there will be lots of opportunities in the game, but I also think that in the end, it will be luck that determines who will score more.