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May 20, 2022 at 6pm UK at Gaziantep Arena
Gaziantep
2 - 0
Caykur Rizespor
Stankovski (41'), Maxim (58')
Kitsiou (87'), Borven (90+1')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Preview: Gaziantep vs. Caykur Rizespor - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Gaziantep vs. Caykur Rizespor - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Friday's Turkish Super Lig clash between Gaziantep and Caykur Rizespor, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Gaziantep and Caykur Rizespor will bring their respective Super Lig campaigns to a close on Friday evening, with both teams looking to end their seasons on a positive note.

The visitors have already been relegated to the second tier, while Gaziantep are safe in the Super Lig for another campaign despite only picking up 43 points from their 37 matches.


Match preview

Gaziantep finished ninth in the Super Lig last term, but a disappointing 2021-22 campaign has left them down in 16th spot in the table, having collected just 43 points from their 37 games this term.

GFK cannot be relegated to the second tier, but they could still potentially finish above Giresunspor in 15th, so there is something other than pride to play for in their final game of the campaign.

Erol Bulut's side will enter this contest off the back of a 3-0 loss at Alanyaspor last time out, while they have not actually been victorious in the league since beating Galatasaray on March 20.

Gaziantep actually have the fourth-best home record in the Super Lig this season, picking up 37 points from their 18 matches, with only Konyaspor, Trabzonspor and Fenerbahce boasting superior records.

Bulut's team have the worst away record in Turkey's top flight, though, collecting just six points from 19 matches, so their home form has played a leading role in them avoiding the drop.

Rizespor, though, will play in the second tier next season, having been relegated ahead of their final match of the campaign.

There is no getting away from the fact that it has been a disappointing campaign for Bulent Korkmaz's side, who have only picked up 36 points from their 37 matches to sit down in 17th position.

Rizespor could actually drop to 18th if Altay win their final game, but they have won two of their last three league games, including a thumping 7-1 victory at Goztepe at the start of the month.

The Rize-based outfit have been present in the top flight of Turkish football since 2018, but they have won the TFF First League on three occasions and will fancy their chances of securing an immediate return next season.

Rizespor beat Gaziantep 5-4 in the corresponding match between the two sides last season, but Gaziantep ran out 1-0 winners when they locked horns back in December for the reverse game earlier this term.

Gaziantep Turkish Super Lig form:
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • L

Caykur Rizespor Turkish Super Lig form:
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L


Team News

Gaziantep will again be missing Furkan Soyalp and Steven Caulker on Friday through injury, but the home side are otherwise in good shape heading into the contest.

Head coach Bulut is expected to resist the temptation to make wholesale changes to the side that started the 3-0 defeat to Alanyaspor, but Alexander Merkel and Hamza Mendyl could both come into the side.

There are unlikely to be any changes further forward, though, with Joao Figueiredo again expected to be supported by Alexandru Maxim.

As for Rizespor, the visitors did not suffer any fresh injuries in their 2-1 home defeat to Sivasspor last time out, with Papiss Cisse expected to be fit despite being withdrawn at the break.

Alper Potuk and Fernando Boldrin are both out with muscular problems, but the already-relegated outfit otherwise have a full squad to choose from.

Ronaldo Mendes is pushing to be involved in an advanced area, while Yannick Bolasie could also be handed a start for the visitors.

Gaziantep possible starting lineup:
Bozan; Ceylan, Ersoy, Tosca, Pehlivan; Merkel, Erdogan; Mendyl, Maxim, Sagal; Figueiredo

Caykur Rizespor possible starting lineup:
Akkan; Gonul, Ponck, Topcu, Albayrak; Phiri; Mendes, Sabo, Hummet, Bolasie; Cisse


We say: Gaziantep 2-1 Caykur Rizespor

There is not an awful lot for either side to play for heading into this match, and there is also not too much between the two sides in terms of quality. Gaziantep have been so strong at home this season, though, so we have had to back them to finish their campaign with a victory.


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