If there is a crisis club in Turkish football right now, you need look no further than just east of the Bosphorus.
Fenerbahce are one of the country’s most successful sides in the history of the Super Lig yet they are currently managerless and on a seven-game winless run.
To highlight how bad things are, their defeat last time out came against a Konyaspor side who had not won a match in 18 attempts. They host bottom club Kayserispor on Friday and will be hoping things can’t get any worse.
Read on for our preview, predictions, possible line-ups and live streaming information ahead of this key fixture.
Fenerbahce vs Kayserispor: Key details, TV & live stream info
Competition: Turkish Super Lig
Venue: The Ülker Stadium, Istanbul, Turkey
Date: Friday, 20 March 2020
Kick-off: 5:00 PM (UK time)
TV coverage (UK): This game will not be shown live in the UK but will be available to watch via Bet365’s live streaming service (details below)
Live stream options: Bet365* are streaming this match live for account holders. Those without a Bet365 account already who are interested in streaming Fenerbahce vs Kayserispor live can take advantage of this service by following the simple steps below.
- Click on this link.
- ‘Join now’ and enter details.
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- Pick the desired event from among the ‘live now’ or ‘schedule’ sections in Bet365’s ‘live streaming’ category.
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Last five meetings: Fenerbahce vs Kayserispor
21 Jan 2020: Fenerbahce 2-0 Kayserispor (Turkish Cup)
14 Jan 2020: Kayserispor 0-0 Fenerbahce (Turkish Cup)
03 Nov 2019: Kayserispor 1-0 Fenerbahce (Super Lig)
08 Feb 2019: Kayserispor 1-0 Fenerbahce (Super Lig)
01 Sep 2018: Fenerbahce 2-3 Kayserispor (Super Lig)
Aggregate Score: Fenerbahce (WDLLL) 4-5 Kayserispor (LDWWW)
Ones to watch
Fenerbahce: Vedat Muriqi
25-year-old Kosovan Vedat Muriqi has, despite Fenerbahce’s struggles, enjoyed a very good campaign. He is currently the team’s top scorer in all competitions with 15 goals and has also been their most creative outlet.
Teammate Max Kruse is probably a name more familiar to casual fans of the Super Lig, but it is Muriqi who has shone brightest in a dim season for Fener.
His power and strength are his real assets, as is his aerial ability, which has seen him dominate defenders in several important fixtures this season. He will be needed on Friday if the Yellow Canaries are to fly out of their current slump.
Key stat: Vedat Muriqi has won 125 aerial duels this season, at least three more than any other player in the Super Lig.
Kayserispor: Bernard Mensah
Robert Prosinečki has a massive job on his hands, back at the club for a second stint. It will be a big ask to keep them in the Super Lig but he will need Ghanian midfielder Bernard Mensah to continue his impressive campaign and hold firm in the middle of the park.
The 25-year-old has been their most creative player this season, laying on 43 chances for his teammates while also trying to get himself some goals, leading the team in shots (46).
His dynamism may not be enough to keep them up but is vital in making sure they are competing against the league’s best sides.
Key stat: Bernard Mensah has notched eight assists this season for Kayserispor, more than any other player on the team and the third-most in the Super Lig behind only Omar Bayram (10) and Edin Visca (11).
Fener are currently without a permanent manager following the departure of Ersun Yanal.
The poor showing in the defeat at Konyaspor will likely see the side revert back to their more familiar 4-2-3-1 formation after a toothless attacking display playing 4-1-4-1.
Usual first-choice ‘keeper Altay Bayindir is out for another three weeks due to injury with Harun Tekin set to deputise again. Muriqi will lead the line again but usual partner Kruse is unavailable and will miss at least a month following an ankle issue. This means former PSG forward Mevlut Erdinc could start in place of the German.
Defender Sadik Çiftpinar is out long-term while Nabil Dirar remains a doubt, as does Tolgay Arslan.
Predicted XI: Tekin; Isla, Jailson, Gustavo, Kaldirim; Tufan, Arslan; Ekici, Erdinc, Kadioglu; Muriqi
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Prosinečki is unlikely to change too much following Kayserispor’s vital 2-1 win against Yeni Malatyaspor. It moved his side within three points of safety, something that seemed totally out of the question before the start of February.
They now have a fighting chance and with a winning formula seemingly found after three victories in the last five games, expect the team to remain unchanged.
Predicted XI: Lung; Kvrzic, Sapunaru, Angelo, Tasdemir; Campanharo; Acar, Dja Djedje, Mensah, Henrique; Mesanovic
Despite winning their last game, this campaign has been a real struggle for Kayserispor. They may have lost just once in the last six games but they have also conceded 62 goals in 26 matches this season, 12 more than any other side.
This could be the perfect game for Fenerbahce to end their dismal run and it better be for their sake as the fans are getting restless following a number of poor displays.
It will be closer than the league table suggests but you’d still expect a home win here.