Preview: Gaziantep FK vs. Ankaragucu – prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Gaziantep FK vs. Ankaragucu – prediction, team news, lineups: ID:393409: from db_amp
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Turkish Super Lig clash between Gaziantep FK and Ankaragucu, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Relegation-threatened Ankaragucu travel to mid-table Gaziantep FK for Saturday's clash in the Turkish Super Lig.

Gaziantep go into the game off the back of a 1-0 loss to Alanyaspor, whereas Ankaragucu picked up a vital 2-1 win over fellow relegation candidates Rizespor last time out.

Match preview

While an array of sporting leagues across the world have fallen victim to the coronavirus pandemic recently, the Turkish league will continue as planned behind closed doors for the time being.

Following a disappointing run of results since the turn of the year, Gaziantep find themselves ninth in the table on 32 points having won only two of their last 10 league matches.

Despite registering 14 shots against Alanyaspor in their most recent fixture, Marius Sumudica's side failed to hit the target with any of them as they succumbed to a winner from former Tottenham Hotspur defender Steven Caulker.

Sumudica expressed his dissatisfaction with his side's lack of a cutting edge after the defeat and will no doubt be looking to put things right against an Ankaragucu side who have lost three of their last four league matches.

Gaziantep, who were promoted to Turkey's top flight via the 2018-19 TFF First League playoffs, have failed to win in four league matches, although all those fixtures came against sides above them in the table.

GFK cannot rise any higher in the league but could drop down to 11th with a defeat should Denizlispor and Antalyaspor both pick up wins in their respective matches.

In contrast, Ankaragucu find themselves firmly embroiled in a relegation battle, but they did manage to overcome fellow strugglers Rizespor in their last match.

Indeed, Mustafa Akcay's side have only chalked up five league wins all season, although three of those victories have come in their last seven matches after a 15-game winless run in all competitions between October and February.

It is fair to say that AG's vital three points over Rizespor was more down to luck than efficiency; Akcay's men finished the game with only 28.2% possession and had an own goal and a red card to thank for their victory.

Nevertheless, Ankaragucu now sit 17th in the table on 23 points and could potentially move out of the relegation zone with a shock win at the weekend.

However, victories on the road have been extremely hard to come by for AG this term; Akcay's side have won just two games on their travels all season and can only boast a measly 11 goals from 13 away matches in the Super Lig.

A victory for Ankaragucu could lift them up to 15th depending on other results, but they could also finish the weekend rock bottom of Turkey's top division should Kayserispor pick up a shock win against Fenerbahce.

Gaziantep took the spoils when the sides met earlier in the season, as Papy Djilobodji's 92nd-minute winner saw Sumidica's side recorded a 2-1 victory at the Eryaman Stadium.

Gaziantep Super Lig form: LWDLDL

Ankaragucu Super Lig form: WWLLLW

Team News

Gaziantep will be without midfielders Andre Sousa and Abdul-Aziz Tetteh through injury, meaning that Jefferson should retain his place in the middle of the park.

Striker Mugdat Celik is said to be nearing a return from a cruciate ligament injury, but Saturday's game will most likely be too soon for the 30-year-old.

Goalkeeper Gunay Gevenc and left-back Junior Morais are both at risk of suspension sitting on three yellow cards apiece.

Ankaragucu have no major injury concerns heading into Saturday's game.

Veteran midfielder Sedat Agcay is the only notable absentee for Akcay's side after being taken off on a stretcher against Rizespor with a facial fracture.

The 38-year-old would have been at risk of a one-game ban if he was eligible for the tie, although defenders Ante Kulisic and Atila Turan could both face a suspension should they pick up a caution at the weekend.

Gaziantep possible starting lineup:
Guvenc; Kana-Biyik, Tosca, Djilobodji; Ceylan, Vural, Maxim, Jefferson, Morais; Kayode, Demir

Ankaragucu possible starting lineup:
Friedrich; Kitsiou, Pazdan, Kulisic, Pinto; Stanojevic, Lukasik, Lobzhanidze, Rodrigues, Michalak; Orgill

We say: Gaziantep 2-1 Ankaragucu

Ankaragucu have finally enjoyed a bout of success in the league over the past couple of months, but we feel that Gaziantep will be too strong at home for the relegation candidates and we're going for a narrow victory for Sumidica's men.

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