Preview: Fenerbahce vs. Istanbulspor 

Preview: Fenerbahce vs. Istanbulspor 

Fenerbahce welcome Istanbulspor to the Sukru Saracoglu Stadium for an Istanbul derby on Monday evening.

Fener remain in the Super Lig title race despite the formidable form of league leaders Galatasaray.

After being one of the most free-scoring outfits in Europe in the first half of the season, Fenerbahce are not quite scoring with the same regularity, but they are grinding out results more efficiently.

Since Turkish football returned after the enforced break caused by the earthquake in the country, Jorge Jesus’s side have won six of their seven league matches to stay in touch at the top.

Their only defeat in that time came when they shipped four against a Besiktas side, who are also in fantastic form, just behind them in the table.

Their response to that very disappointing loss to 10-man Besiktas has been superb though, winning three on the spin.

Matches against Fatih Karagumruk, Ankaragucu and Istanbul Basaksehir have all been safely navigated, with Fener winning all three 2-1.

They still find themselves six points behind a Galatasaray side who will take some stopping from this point, but the two sides do meet on the final day of the season.

Whether that turns out to be a title decider is far from clear yet, but Fener also have the misfortune of needing to overturn a pretty hefty deficit in goal difference if they are to catch their local rivals.

Istanbulspor represent ideal opponents to continue their push to hunt down Gala though, as Fenerbahce have won nine of the last 10 meetings between the sides here.

Fatih Tekke’s men have pressing matters of their own to deal with heading into this one, sitting just one point above the drop zone.

That gap should be three, but Istanbulspor inexplicably threw away the lead three times last week in a 3-3 draw with Antalyaspor.

After beating Basaksehir a few days earlier to end a run of three straight defeats, they looked set to make it back-to-back wins, which would have given them some valuable breathing space, but a late penalty for the visitors meant they left with just a point.

This clash with Fenerbahce and a home tie with Galatasaray come either side of a crucial encounter with Giresunspor next week for Istanbulspor, which could have a big say in who gets relegated back to the 1. Lig.

Fenerbahce Turkish Super Lig form:

Fenerbahce form (all competitions):

Istanbulspor Turkish Super Lig form:

We say: Fenerbahce 4-0 Istanbulspor
The league’s leakiest defence may have a very difficult evening keeping out the division’s most potent attack, who have the runaway top scorer in the form of Enner Valencia in their ranks.

A win is the only acceptable result for Fener, who must claim three points to stay in touch with Galatasaray.

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