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Match Preview: Galatasaray vs Fenerbahce

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It is time for one of the most intense derby games in the Turkish Super Lig – Galatasaray vs Fenerbahce.

The two most successful clubs in Turkish history Galatasaray and Fenerbahce square off at the Turk Telekom Stadium in the first Intercontinental Derby of the 2019-20 campaign.

This fixture got its name because of the fact that both sides come from two different parts of Istanbul, Galatasaray from the European, while Fener from the Asian part of the biggest city in the country.

The visitors have started the season on a higher note, as they enter the derby as the second-placed side in the league, with 10 points from the opening five games.

Galatasaray are currently sitting in seventh, but the Yellow-Reds will have the chance to move past their arch-rivals if they defeat them this evening.

They also have to save a little bit of energy for the upcoming Champions League encounter with French champions Paris Saint-Germain next Tuesday.

Team news

Turkish midfielder Emre Akbaba is a long-term absentee for the host side, while Younes Balhanda, who had a broken jaw, is expected to play wearing a protective mask.

Radamel Falcao and Ryan Babel should lead Galatasaray’s attacking line, while Steven N’Zonzi and Mario Lemina will start in the middle of the park.

Garry Rodrigues is ruled out of the Intercontinental Derby for Fenerbahce, as 39-year old Emre Belozoglu could replace him to face the club which has made him a football player.

French defender Adil Rami is doubtful for the visitors, after being taken off on half time in the last outing against Ankaragucu one week ago.

Mauricio Isla and Victor Moses have started to train with the team, but both will be assessed prior to kick-off regarding their match-fitness.

Stats

Galatasaray are undefeated in their last 36 home matches in top-flight Turkish football. However, they haven’t beaten Fenerbahce in the Super Lig since October 2014.

The last four meetings between both sides finished without a winner, with Galatasaray throwing away a two-goal lead when they hosted the fixture in the previous season.

Fener is the last winner of the Intercontinental Derby, thanks to Brazilian midfielder Souza, who scored an injury-time winner at the Turk Telekom Stadium back in April 2017.

Galatasaray’s only win in their last 10 encounters with Fenerbahce across all competitions came in the 2016 Turkish Cup Final, as Lukas Podolski scored the deciding goal of the game.

The above-mentioned 1-0 Fenerbahce win from 2017 is the only time they’ve managed to take all three points from their last seven league visits to the Turk Telekom Stadium.