Arch rivals Galatasaray and Fenerbahçe open the 26th week of the Spor Toto Süper League tonight for the first derby game to be played in the all-new Ali Sami Yen Sports Center Türk Telekom Arena.
Tonight's derby kicks off at 21:00 and will be broadcasted in Lib TV's new generation three dimension for the first time.
Five-time Galatasaray-Fenerbahçe derby referee Fırat Aydınus will be overseeing tonight's game with fellow referees Serkan Ok and Aleks Taşçıoğlu assisting. Aytekin Durmaz will serve as fourth referee.
Prior to the start of the Spor Toto Süper League's 26th week, with 57 points, Fenerbahçe hold the leadership position with their average, while hosts Galatasaray stand in 11th place with 33 points.
-GALATASARAY IN PURSUIT OF PRESTIGE- Having suffered one of the worst seasons in Galatasaray's league history; the hope of gaining prestige from a victory tonight holds much significance for the club.
Currently experiencing their worst performance ever in the league having acquired 12 losses out of 25 games, Galatasaray hopes to put a smile on fans' faces by continuing their winning streak going at the new Türk Telekom Arena, where they have yet to lose a match.
All eyes will be looking out for captain Arda, who is expected to come into the game in the second half. Injured players Sabri Sarıoğlu and Serkan Kurtuluş will not be able to don uniforms in tonight's derby. Meanwhile, Çağlar Birinci's treatment continues.
-FENERBAHÇE TO TRY TO KEEP THEIR SEAT- Fenerbahçe has been on a winning streak, with nine under their belt in the league. By securing a derby win, Fenerbahce hopes to add three more points to their current leadership position in the race to the championship.
Due to an injury, Emre Belözoğlu will not be playing tonight and Dia has also been forced to train separately from the team due to pain in his left lower muscle structure. Whether the Senegalese footballer will play tonight has yet to be determined.
-Probable Starting Line-Ups-
Galatasaray: Zapata, Neill, Servet Çetin, Gökhan Zan, Hakan Kadir Balta, Cana, Yekta Kurtuluş, Culio, Kazım Kazım, Pino, Baros
Fenerbahçe: Volkan Demirel, Gökhan Gönül, Lugano, Yobo, Andre Santos, Mehmet Topuz, Selçuk Şahin, Özer Hurmacı, Dia (Stoch), Alex, Niang
Meanwhile the Türk Telekom Arena, which will be facing its most difficult test tonight by way of derby, is on alarm. With difficulties already experienced with transportation when 20,000-25,000 fans are present, difficulties tonight may be inevitable with 50,000 fans expected to show coupled by the city's rainy weather.
Rainfall is anticipated both prior and following the game. Due to the prohibition of entering the stadium with umbrellas, crowds of thousands are expected to flock from the stadium exit to the metro entrance.
The visiting team's fans will not be allowed to exit the stadium until the home teams supporters have dispersed. Galatasaray fans are expected to fill the surrounding restaurants instead of delving into the traffic and therefore due to the anticipated crowds, Fenerbahçe fans are not expected to be released from the stadium before one a.m. tonight.
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