When Ankaragücü made their way back to the Super Lig the first match that the fans looked for when the fixtures were announced was Ankaragücü vs Besiktas. Next Saturday will see the two sides meet for the first time since November 2012 when Besiktas won 3-2 in the Turkish Cup.
Only 1 point separates the two sides with Ankaragücü sitting 6th on 19 points while Besiktas are in 7th. While Ankaragücü and their fans are delighted with the start they have made this season, the same can’t be said about the Istanbul giants. Besiktas have enjoyed a lot of success domestically and on the European stage in the last 6 years but their is a lot of unrest amongst the fans with some calling for the resignation of Senol Gunes.
Besiktas were pipped to the title last season by Galatasaray but had a very successful campaign in the Champions League as they qualified past the group stages and into the knockout rounds. The performances in Europe meant that most fans stood by Gunes giving him more time to get back on track the following season. Unfortunately for Gunes that form hasn’t returned and only 5 wins from 12 this season isn’t the kind of form you would expect from a Besiktas side. The Europa league results haven’t been much better as they sit bottom of their group after 4 games. The good news though is that they are only 3 points behind leaders Genk.
It’s always easy to blame the manager when things go wrong at a club and although Senol Gunes has to take a lot of responsibility, there are other issues that see Besiktas where they are at the moment. Like most Turkish clubs, Besiktas have financial problems which means they have a restriction on transfers and can’t invest back in the squad they way other European clubs can. The key players in the side such as Adriano, Pepe, Quaresma, Hutchison, Medel, Lens, Babel and Vagner Love are all in their 30s. The bulk of these players have already won the Super Lig and enjoyed success in Champions League, do they still have the same motivation to succee? Sure doesn’t look that way.
Ankaragücü go into next Saturdays match looking to bounce back after a disappointing 2-0 defeat at Konyaspor last weekend. The team have been on a fantastic run but we’re brought back to earth after a poor performance in Konya. The good news for Ankaragücü is that İsmail Kartal has a full squad to chose from as long as their aren’t injuries picked up on International duty.
There is no doubting Besiktas have the better quality of players between the two sides, but Ankaragücü play like a team, work extremely hard and everyone plays for each other. The players are also hungry for success and although success is measured in an entirely different way for both clubs, you never have to worry about Ankaragücü players giving 100 percent for the club.
Kubilay Kanatziskus missed out last week due to injury and the team will be hoping he returns for next weeks match. He adds a whole new dimension to the way Ankaragücü play and brings that physical side of the game which allows the technical players such as Bifouma and El Kabir to create and score goals. Alihan Kubalas and Thomas Heurtaux are both back in training but it’s unclear if they will play.
You have to go back 7 years for the last time Ankaragücü best Besiktas. A 1-0 win in an empty 19 Mayis Stadium due to a stadium ban, with the only goal coming from Serdar Ozkan. The team has a great chance of making a bit of history next week in front of a sold out stadium and passionate fans. Brice Dja Djedje and Ricardo Faty will be extremely important in protecting the back 4 and winning possession as Besiktas have the quality all through the side to hurt Ankaragücü if they are on their game. Ricardo Quaresma will be the main threat as he can cross with both feet, score from anywhere and create chances.
Although not a derby, Ankaragücü vs Besiktas is seen as a hostile match due to the friendship between Ankaragücü and Bursaspor. That brings a bit of added spice to the game and Ankaragücü fans also dislike people from Ankara who chose the Istanbul teams to support instead of their local club.
It’s expected that the match will take place in the new Eryaman Stadium which would be the opening game and add to the atmosphere. It should be a fantastic night and let’s hope Ankaragücü can cause another upset and give us 3 points.