Trabzonspor and Caykur Rizespor get round 11 of the Turkish Super Lig underway on Friday when they go toe to toe at the Senol Gunes Stadium Stadium.
The hosts currently lead the way in the league standings, while the visitors find themselves rock bottom after a rough start to the season.
Trabzonspor strengthened their lead at the top of the Super Lig table last Saturday as they cruised to a 1-0 win over a resilient Goztepe side at the Gursel Aksel Stadium.
In a cagey affair, Gervinho came up trumps for the visitors as he netted the only goal of the game four minutes from the hour mark to condemn the hosts to their sixth loss in seven games.
This followed a thrilling 3-1 win away to league favourites Fenerbahce, where Anastasios Bakasetas hit a brace before Yusuf Sari netted a 90th-minute goal to secure the comeback after Diego Rossi had put the visitors ahead inside the opening three minutes.
Abdullah Avci’s men are now unbeaten in each of their most recent eight games, picking up five wins and three draws since a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Roma in the Conference League qualifiers back in August.
The Black Sea Storm remain the only side yet to taste defeat in the league and this fine run of results has seen them surge to the top of the table after picking up 24 points from 10 games.
This has been down to their solid performances at both ends of the pitch as they boast the league’s joint-most goals to date with 20 and have shipped nine at the opposite end of the pitch.
Meanwhile, Caykur Rizespor picked up their first win of the campaign last time out when they saw off Kasimpasa 2-1 at the Estadio Caykur Didi.
After Basaksehir loanee Cemali Sertel broke the deadlock in the 11th minute to hand the hosts a first-half lead, Umut Bozok converted from 12 yards to restore parity before Selim Ay netted a dramatic winner in the 11th minute of injury time.
Prior to that, the Black Sea Sparrowhawks failed to taste victory since May 11 when they edged out Gaziantep in a nine-goal thriller — a run which saw them lose 11 of 12 games across all competitions.
However, the result brought no changes to the shape of the table as Rizespor are currently rooted to the bottom, five points adrift of Giresunspor in safety.
This dire start to the season has been in no small part owing to their shambolic performances at the defensive end of the pitch, a key area needing tinkering as they conceded the most goals of all 20 teams in the division.
While Hamza Hamzaoglu’s men will be looking to make it two wins from two for the first time since April, they face the stern test of taking on an opposing side who they have failed to defeat in all but one of their most recent 15 encounters, losing 11 and picking up three draws.
Trabzonspor Turkish Super Lig form:
Caykur Rizespor Turkish Super Lig form:
We say: Trabzonspor 3-0 Caykur Rizespor
Rizespor head into the game off the back of picking up their first win of the season and will be looking to keep the juggernaut rolling and move out of the relegation places. However, they face an uphill task up against a significantly stronger Trabzonspor side who are yet to lose a league game this season. The hosts are also unbeaten at home since March and we are tipping them to come away with all three points.