Preview: Altay vs. Besiktas

Preview: Altay vs. Besiktas

Besiktas will travel to Altay in the Turkish Super Lig on Friday evening for the first meeting between the sides since May 2003.

Altay have amassed 12 points from their opening six fixtures, while their opponents are still unbeaten in the league having won four and drawn twice this term.

Altay are featuring in a Super Lig season for the first time since 2002-03 and they are enjoying their return to the top flight, having won four of their opening six matches.

They impressed early on in the campaign, by picking up comfortable victories over Kayserispor and Alanyaspor in their opening two fixtures, but they then suffered two successive defeats to Fenerbahce and Konyaspor.

Those losses did not derail the newly-promoted side though, as they responded with a 2-1 victory over Goztepe and then on Tuesday goals from Eric Bjorkander and Daouda Bamba ensured Altay won 2-1 against Rizespor.

That was Bamba’s third goal of the season, but Altay have not had to rely solely on their new striker, as they have managed to grab 12 goals so far this term, and their attacking quality has been a large factor in their promising start.

Friday’s hosts will aim to carry that form into this encounter, as they try to beat Besiktas for the first time since February 1998.

Likewise, Besiktas have also started the season in fine form, and are yet to taste defeat in the Super Lig having collected 14 points from their six league encounters.

Friday’s visitors picked up four points from their first two league games, winning 3-0 at home to Rizespor before playing out a goalless draw against Gaziantep.

Then Besiktas really hit their stride, winning three consecutive league games against Fatih Karagumruk, Yeni Malatyaspor and Antalyaspor, scoring seven times in that period and only conceding twice.

However, in their last two fixtures, Sergen Yalcin’s men have been shaky defensively due to injury absentees and that was evident in their last league match when they squandered a 3-0 lead.

On Tuesday, they seemed to have wrapped up their encounter with Adana Demirspor by the 52nd minute, after Javi Montero, Josef De Souza and Ridvan Yilmaz had put Besiktas three goals up, but their opponents scored twice in the 60th and 79th minute – with Matias Vargas and Mario Balotelli grabbing the goals – and Britt Assombalonga completed an incredible comeback in the seventh minute of stoppage time to ensure the spoils were shared.

Altay Turkish Super Lig form:
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Besiktas Turkish Super Lig form:
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Besiktas form (all competitions):
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We say: Altay 2-3 Besiktas
This contest features two teams who score at will, so there is likely to be a feast of goals on Friday, and Altay may cause their opponents problems, but with the quality Besiktas possess in their ranks, they should get the three points here to continue their unbeaten start to the league season.

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