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Turkish Super Lig | Gameweek 31
Apr 3, 2022 at 6.30pm UK
Huseyin Avni Aker

1 - 1

Cornelius (56')
Djaniny (78'), Bakasetas (82'), Siopis (82')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Rosier (71')
Bozdogan (36'), Montero (53'), Karaman (75'), Hutchinson (90+1')
Larin (80')

Preview: Trabzonspor vs. Besiktas - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Trabzonspor can move a step closer to capturing their first Turkish Super Lig title in over three decades when they host the reigning champions Besiktas on Sunday at Medical Park Stadium.

Black Sea Storm suffered their first defeat of 2022 the last time out, falling 3-2 at Caykur Rizesport, while the Black Eagles went winless in March and are currently sitting in eighth.

Match preview

After four consecutive finishes in the top five, Trabzonspor have shown everyone this season that they are finally ready to take the next step and reign supreme in Turkey.

Three wins and a draw from their final eight domestic encounters will be enough for them to pick up their seventh Super Lig crown and the first since the 1983-84 season.

In a league that historically has been dominated by clubs based in Istanbul, Trabzonspor are proving at the moment that they just as good and usually better than the likes of Fenerbahce, Galatasaray and Besiktas, going undefeated in this campaign against those big teams.

Since taking over as manager, Abdullah Avci has been able to find a nice balance within this group, currently leading the league in goals scored (58), while also conceding the fewest (26).

Their attacking flair and technical strength in midfield have been too much for opposing sides to contain throughout the campaign, as they have only been held goalless in one domestic encounter to date.

They have not lost at home domestically in 2021-22, winning their last five matches played at Medical Park Stadium in all competitions.

In their quest to repeat as champions, Besiktas did not do themselves any favours last month, going winless in their three league fixtures and falling in the quarter-finals of the Turkish Cup with a 2-1 defeat versus Kayserispor.

In their title-winning campaign, the Black and Whites were nearly unstoppable going forward, scoring an incredible 89 goals in 40 games, but it seems as though the other top-flight sides have figured out how to defend them this season, as Besiktas have only netted 44 times.

One of the most unforeseen of circumstances must occur down the stretch of this campaign for Valerien Ismael and his team to retain their title, as they need to win their remaining eight games and hope that the seven sides above them lose all of theirs to have a chance.

Another league championship may be unlikely, although qualifying for a place in Europe is still within the realm of possibilities as they trail Alanyaspor for fourth by a mere three points.

Under Ismael, this team have tried to play fast and wide, rarely relying on a ton of build-up play, while also competing at a high intensity.

When going into half time with the lead, they look a lot more comfortable and compact, going unbeaten all season long in that scenario.

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

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

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

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

Team News

Abdulkadir Omur scored his third goal in his last two matches the previous time out, but it was not enough to keep their unbeaten run intact, as Trabzonspor conceded three penalties which were all converted by Joel Pohjanpalo, losing for just the second time this season.

Bruno Peres will not be available for this game after receiving another yellow card in their previous fixture, while Ahmetcan Kaplan is nursing an ankle problem, Anders Trondsen continues to deal with tightness in his hamstring and Vitor Hugo is out for the season with an unknown injury.

Since joining this team during the January transfer window, Edin Visca has been a valuable provider, currently tied with Matias Vargas for the league lead in assists with 11.

Andreas Cornelius is third in the Super Lig in terms of goals with 12 this season, and goalkeeper Ugurcan Cakir has 10 clean sheets, one fewer than the league leader, Ibrahim Sehic.

Michy Batshuayi scored the only goal for Besiktas in a 1-1 draw versus Hatayspor, as the man on loan from Chelsea leads the team with 12 on the season, well ahead of Canadian Cyle Larin, who has tallied six times after putting home 19 in 2020-21.

Several new players began their last domestic encounter, as Emre Bilgin, Ridvan Yilmaz, Souza, Larin and Batshuayi all started, while Ersin Destanoglu, Umut Meras, captain Atiba Hutchinson, Kenan Karaman and Alex Teixeira were relegated to the bench to start the match.

Rachid Ghezzal has struggled with consistency this season, firing home just three goals in the Super Lig so far after scoring seven in the previous campaign.

Trabzonspor possible starting lineup:
Cakir; Puchacz, Turkmen, Denswil, Peres; Siopis, Tokoz; Nwakaeme, Omur, Visca; Cornelius

Besiktas possible starting lineup:
Destanoglu; Rosier, Uysal, Vida, Yilmaz; Bozdogan, Souza; Ghezzal, Teixeira, Karaman; Batshuayi

We say: Trabzonspor 2-0 Besiktas

Consistency is vital when you go through a lengthy domestic campaign, and Trabzonspor have shown more of that than any other Turkish club this season.

We do not expect them to slip up against a side who have only won one of their last four away games and have not been nearly as balanced in the attacking third as we saw in 2020-21.

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