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Preview: Galatasaray vs. Konyaspor - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Galatasaray vs. Konyaspor - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Turkish Super Lig clash between Galatasaray and Konyaspor, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Looking to move into the top four ​places, Galatasaray play hosts to Konyaspor in round nine of the Turkish Super Lig at the Turk Telekom Arena on Sunday.

The hosts head into the game seeking a third win on the bounce, while the visitors will look to end their run of four consecutive draws.

Match preview

A proper title challenge, to say the least, was expected of a Galatasaray side who lost the 2020-21 league title to Besiktas on goal difference as they were viewed as firm favourites to go all the way.

In a surprising turn of events, the Lions found themselves scrambling for points in the mid-tables after six rounds of matches as they managed eight points from 18 available.

However, Fatih Terim has steered an impressive turnaround in recent weeks, starting with an impressive win against Goztepe on September 26, when second-half strikes from Halil Dervisoglu and Olimpiu Morutan cancelled out Cherif Ndiaye's 43rd minute opener and forced a comeback.

Galatasaray continued their surge to the upper echelons of the Super Lig table last time out as they came from behind once again to snatch a thrilling 3-2 victory over Caykur Rizespor at the Yeni Rize Sehir Stadi.

Heading into the break one goal down for the second game running, the 22-time champions faced an uphill task against a determined Rizespor side, but Mostafa Mohamed restored parity in the 75th minute before Morutan struck a dramatic winner in the 11th minute of injury time to hand the visitors a 3-2 victory.

While it was a sixth defeat on the bounce for the hosts, the result saw the 2018-19 champions rise to eighth place on the log, level on 14 points with three other sides, including sixth-place Konyaspor.

This slow start to the season has been owing to their struggles at the defensive end of the pitch, where they have shipped 12 goals already with only Altay and rock-bottom Caykur Rizespor conceding more.

Galatasaray head into Sunday's game off the back of a 3-3 draw against second-tier side Istanbulspor when the sides squared off in a friendly tie during the international break at the Ali Sami Yen Sports Complex Nef Stadium.

Konyaspor, on the other hand, failed to return to winning ways yet again when they played out a 1-1 draw with Alanyaspor last time on home turf.

In a cagey affair at the Konya Metropolitan Municipality Stadium, Bulent Korkmaz's side appeared headed for all three points when Fatih Aksoy struck four minutes after the interval, but Boavista loanee Chidozie Awaziem scored an own goal with three minutes remaining in the game to force a share of the spoils.

This was a fourth consecutive draw for Ilhan Palut's men, who were also involved in a share of the spoils with Giresunspor, Trabzonspor and Kasimpasa since their last win on September 11, when they edged out Altay 3-1 on home turf.

Sunday's visitors remain one of just two sides yet to suffer defeat this season and this has been owing to their sturdiness at the defensive end of the pitch, where they boast the third-best record with eight goals conceded.

While the Anadolu Kartali will look to keep this decent run going, they face the stern test of taking on a rejuvenated opposing side, who have lost just once in the last 20 meetings between the sides, claiming 13 wins and six draws in that time.

Galatasaray Turkish Super Lig form:
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W

Galatasaray form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • D

Konyaspor Turkish Super Lig form:
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • D

Konyaspor form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • D

Team News

Galatasaray will take to the pitch without the services of Omar Elabdellaoui and Arda Turan, who are currently recuperating from ankle and knee injuries respectively.

While the former Barcelona and Atletico Madrid forward edges closer to full fitness following a two-month spell on the sidelines, Sunday's game might come too soon for a return, meaning we could see Olimpiu Morutan start on the right wing once again.

Turkish midfielder Berkan Kutlu is also ruled out of this weekend's encounter as he serves his suspension after receiving his marching orders against Caykur Rizespor last time out.

Konyaspor, on the other hand, will be unable to call upon the services of 29-year-old forward Paul-Jose Mpoku, who picked up a muscle problem in the game against Alanyaspor two weeks ago.

Having named an unchanged starting lineup in each of the last two games, we expect Palut to name a similar side for the trip to Galatasaray this Saturday.

The defensive unit of Guilherme Haubert Sitya, Abdulkerim Bardakci, Ahmet Yilmaz Calik and Nejc Skubic have started each of Konyaspor's eight games this season and we expect to see them team up once again in front of skipper Ibrahim Sehic between the sticks.

Galatasaray possible starting lineup:
Muslera; Van Aanholt, Nelsson, Luyindama, Yedlin; Kutlu, Cicaldau, Morutan; Morutan, Dervisoglu, Akturkogly

Konyaspor possible starting lineup:
Sehic; Skubic, Calik, Bardakci, Guilherme; Dikmen, Hadziahmetovic, Cekici; Bytyqi, Hassan, Gurler

We say: Galatasaray 2-1 Konyaspor

Galatasaray have done well to turn their season around as they appear to have hit their stride over the last few weeks. While we expect a defensively solid Konyaspor side to put up a fight on Sunday, we are tipping the record Super Lig champions to continue their dominance in this fixture and come away with all three points.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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Turkish Super Lig Table
6Istanbul BasaksehirIstanbul147162016422
7Fatih KaragumrukKaragumruk146442118322
9Adana Demirspor145542018220
17Yeni MalatyasporYeni M'spor144191223-1113
18Goztepe SKGoztepe SK142571320-711
20Caykur RizesporCaykur Rizespor1431101227-1510
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2Atletico MadridAtletico1485126141229
3Real Sociedad158521911829
5Real Betis158342518727
6Rayo Vallecano157352316724
8Athletic Bilbao154831311220
13Celta Vigo154471619-316
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