MX23RW : Friday, August 6 04:56:20| >> :600:2998540:2998540:
Jun 12, 2020 at 7pm UK at Sukru Saracoglu Stadium
Muriqi (86' pen.), Gustavo (88')
Belozoglu (15')
Tufan (12')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Mensah (59')
Sapunaru (78'), Mensah (82')

Preview: Fenerbahce vs. Kayserispor - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Friday night's Turkish Super Lig showdown between out-of-form Fenerbahce and resurgent basement dwellers Kayserispor.

While most of Europe is on lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Turkish Super Lig is one of the few competitions still taking place and round 27 begins when Fenerbahce host Kayserispor on Friday night.

The managerless hosts go into the match without a league victory since January, but will be expected to end that poor run of form against their bottom-of-the-table visitors.

Match preview

Fenerbahce's Vedat Muriqi pictured in December 2019© Reuters

As demand grows stronger for Turkish football to be called to a halt, the players of both Fenerbahce and Kayserispor must continue to prepare as normal for a match which holds significance for both teams.

For Fenerbahce, Friday's contest presents them with their best chance yet to end what is now a seven-game winless run in the league which stretches all the way back to their January triumph over title contenders Istanbul Basaksehir.

Not since a nine-game run at the end of the 2002-03 season have Fenerbahce been forced to wait so long for a league victory, and their current position looks even more bleak than it did then.

The Yellow Canaries finished sixth in 2002-03 but that was an anomaly; they won the title three times in the four years surrounding that campaign and finished second in the other.

However, they are now having to come to terms with not being one of the powerhouses of Turkish football any more, finishing sixth again last season and faring even worse this time around, going into Friday's match in seventh place.

Only victory by seven goals would be enough for them to move up to sixth, and should they finish the campaign in their current position then it would be their worst showing since 1987-88.

The visit of Kayserispor is a match they will feel confident of winning, though; the away side are rock bottom of the table and have conceded a whopping 62 goals - 12 more than any other team - in just 26 games this season.

That said, manager Robert Prosinecki - a former Croatia international - has overseen a marked improvement in recent weeks and it is actually Kayserispor who go into the match in the best form.

Only one team outside the top three has picked up more points over the last six games, including three wins from their last five following a run of 10 games without victory before that.

The main concern will be their away form, though, having won just one game on the road in any competition since April and lost 10 of their 13 in the league this season, conceding 42 times in the process.

By contrast, only two of Fenerbahce's defeats have come in front of their own fans this season and only the top two have scored more goals on their own patch.

However, should Kayserispor manage to upset the odds again and continue their revival then they would move level on points with 15th-placed Yeni Malatyaspor and ever closer to the prospect of survival, which looked nigh-on impossible just over a month ago.

Fenerbahce Super Lig form: DLLDDL
Fenerbahce form (all competitions): LLDLDL

Kayserispor Super Lig form: DWDWLW

Team News

Fenerbahce's Max Kruse celebrates scoring their first goal in February 2020© Reuters

Fenerbahce will still be without Max Kruse for this match, but the German is nearing a return and could be back for their next fixture should the season still be going on.

Altay Bayindir is also nearing a return for the hosts, but Nabil Dirar and Sadik Ciftpinar remain sidelined.

Kosovan striker Vedat Muriqi, who has been linked with a move to the Premier League this summer, will lead the line as he looks to add to his 15-goal tally so far this season.

The visitors, meanwhile, will be without Miguel Lopes, Nurettin Korkmas and Alpay Celebi, the latter of whom has been sidelined since August.

Levent Gulen also remains out through injury, although he is expected back next month.

Fenerbahce possible starting lineup:
Tekin; Isla, Jailson, Gustavo, Kaldirim; Emre; Ekici, Zajc, Cigerci, Rodrigues; Muriqi

Kayserispor possible starting lineup:
Lung; Kvrzic, Sapunaru, Angelo, Tasdemir; Campanharo; Acar, Dja Djedje, Mensah, Henrique; Mesanovic

Sports Mole Logo

We say: Fenerbahce 3-1 Kayserispor

This is a much more difficult match to call than it might have been in previous seasons. The form book points to an away win despite what the league table says, but it is impossible to ignore Kayserispor's dreadful record on the road this term so we are backing 19-time champions Fenerbahce to make a long-awaited return to winning ways.

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Vedat Muriqi celebrates scoring on September 7, 2019
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Today's Olympic highlights header

Friday's key events

· Great Britain's women aim to secure their place on the podium as they face India in the bronze medal match (2.30am)
· Netherlands - silver medallists five years ago - and Argentina battle for the gold medal in the women's final (11am)

· The women's gold medal will be decided as Australia and USA go head to head (3.30am)

· Lauren Price will be looking to add to Team GB's success in the ring when she takes on Nouchka Fontijn of Netherlands in the women's middleweight semi-final (6am)

· Tom Daley already has one Olympic gold to his name in Tokyo, and he begins his bid for second in the men's 10m platform. Teammate Noah Williams is also involved in the preliminary round (7am)

· Jason Kenny's reign as sprint king may be over, but Jack Carlin looked strong in his bid to succeed his compatriot. He takes on Harrie Lavreysen in his sprint semi-final (8.10am), with the final taking place later in the day (10.35am)
· The women's madison makes its Olympic debut at the velodrome as Team GB duo Katie Archibald and Laura Kenny look to add another medal to their collections (9.15am)

· Hosts Japan will look to get themselves on the podium as they face Mexico in the men's bronze medal match (10am)
· The women's champions will be crowned as both Sweden and Canada aim to win Olympic gold for the very first time (1pm)

· The men's 5000m final includes Great Britain's Andrew Butchart, but most eyes will be on Ugandan world record holder Joshua Cheptegei (1pm)
· Team GB's Jodie Williams will hope to get on the podium in the women's 400m final, but defending champ Shaunae Miller-Uibo is favourite for gold while Stephenie Ann McPherson should challenge and Allyson Felix is bidding to become the most decorated female track and field athlete of all time (1.35pm)
· Netherlands' Sifan Hassan takes on leg two of her ambitious attempt at a Tokyo treble in a women's 1500m final which also includes Great Britain's Laura Muir and Faith Kipyegon of Kenya (1.50pm)
· A star-studded women's 4x100m relay final will see a Team GB quartet including Dina Asher-Smith look to upset defending champions USA and favourites Jamaica, who boast Elaine Thompson-Herah as she goes for her third gold of the Games (2.30pm)
· Great Britain and Jamaica will also be going for gold in the men's 4x100m relay final, and their medal hopes have been boosted by USA's failure to qualify (2.50pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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