Galatasaray will take on bitter rival Fenerbahce in Sunday’s Turkish Super Lig derby.
As the home team of the intercontinental derby, Galatasaray wants to break a home jinx against Fenerbahce that has lasted since 2014.
The Lions last beat the Yellow Canaries at Turk Telekom Stadium 2-1 six years ago with two goals by Dutch star Wesley Sneijder.
Galatasaray has since managed four ties and one loss at home.
Fenerbahce escaped from the Lions’ venue with a win in 2017 as the visitors stunned Galatasaray 1-0 with an injury time goal by Brazilian defensive midfielder Josef de Souza.
Last season’s game in the Turk Telekom Stadium ended with a scoreless result.
Fenerbahce created new team
After two disappointing seasons, this summer Fenerbahce decided to form a new team to increase their title chances.
The Yellow Canaries signed 12 new players including former defenders on the left and right flanks, Caner Erkin and Gokhan Gonul.
They also acquired Turkish central midfielder Mert Hakan Yandas from Sivasspor.
Tanzanian forward Mbwana Samatta joined from England’s Aston Villa. Enner Valencia from Ecuador – playing forward – made his way to Fenerbahce. He was one of the big signings for the Istanbul club.
Additionally, Argentine central midfielder Jose Sosa became a Fenerbahce player this summer.
Fenerbahce also hired new manager Erol Bulut. The Turkish-German played for Fenerbahce in 1995-1999.
Last season Bulut managed Turkish Super Lig team Aytemiz Alanyaspor.
A mediocre team from the Mediterranean region, Alanyaspor ended the 2019-20 Super Lig in fifth place.
Galatasaray veteran Arda returns home
Former Galatasaray captain, Turkish winger Arda Turan, 33, returned to his boyhood club this summer.
After spending long years at Galatasaray, Arda moved to Spain in 2011 to play for Atletico Madrid. In 2015, Barcelona acquired him and it was one of the sensational signings at the time.
In 2018, Turkey’s Medipol Basaksehir signed Arda. In January, he returned to Barcelona but did not play for the Spanish powerhouse for half of the year.
This summer, he became a free agent.
The Turkish player won the 2012 UEFA Europa League with Atletico Madrid.
He helped Atletico Madrid win the 2014 Spanish La Liga title.
Arda won it with Barcelona in 2016.
Compared to Fenerbahce, Galatasaray had a calm summer as the Lions signed five players: Arda, Nigerian midfielder Oghenekaro Etebo, Turkish winger Emre Kilinc and goalkeeper Fatih Ozturk and Norwegian right back Omar Elabdellaoui.
Separately, Senegalese forward Mbaye Diagne retuned to the Lions after playing one season in Belgium’s Club Brugge.
Sunday’s derby to be played without fans
The intercontinental derby will be played without fans in the stadium because of the coronavirus pandemic.
League matches in Turkey during the first half of the 2020-21 season are held without fans for health reasons, the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) said earlier this month.
The match will begin at 7 p.m. local time (1600GMT).
This season, third place Galatasaray won two matches and has six points in the league, led by newly promoted Fatih Karagumruk which has seven.
Fenerbahce has four points and is in the tenth spot in the standings.
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