Saturday, January 19, 2008

Match Day: Fenerbahçe vs. Gaziantepspor

Match Day: Fenerbahçe vs. Gaziantepspor
By Nathan L. Redd

After a disappointing 2-2 draw in Kadıköy last weekend, Fenerbahçe is in Southeastern Anatolia Sunday to take on Turkcell Süper Lig opponents Gaziantepspor. Kickoff is schedule for 15:00 (8:00 AM EST in the U.S.).

Fenerbahçe will be looking to keep pace with league-leaders Sivasspor and Galatasaray, while Gaziantepspor is hoping to stay in the top half of the table. Following Sivasspor and Besiktas wins on Saturday, Fenerbahçe will need three points and pending the Galatasaray game on Sunday, the Yellow Canaries could move into second place. Fener currently sits in fourth place with 38 points. Gaziantepspor is currently in ninth place, in the midst of a logjam in the middle of the table. With 24 points, Gaziantep is tied with two other teams and only one point behind sixth-place Denizlispor. Despite being close to the top third of the league, Gaziantep's defense has been suspect so far this season. They've scored 23 goals on the season, but have given up 24 to their opponents. Fenerbahçe has scored 32 goals on the season, but has struggled offensively in the Turkcell Süper Lig recently. With injuries to Stephen Appiah, Alex de Souza, Deniz Baris, and Tumer Metin unavailable, Fener will be looking for scoring options to regain their earlier form. After a crucial goal in the Fortis Turkiye Cup, Zico and company are hoping for increased confidence and offensive prowess from striker Mateja Kezman. Zico also indicated earlier that Alex de Souza may see playing time in Gaziantep on Sunday. He told FB TV "Alex is healthy enough to play against Gaziantepspor. He has been training hard to get back in form."

Fenerbahçe and Gaziantepspor kickoff at 15:00 (8:00 AM EST in the U.S.) in week 19 of Turkcell Süper Lig action. For those outside of Türkiye, the game is available on a pay-per-view basis live online at www.digiturkwebtv.com.

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