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Sunday, 09 December, 2018

Besiktas primed to take the spoils in battle of Istanbul

Fenerbahce floundered in Europa opener

Ryan Babel (left) can steer Besiktas to victory
1 of 1

Turkish Super Lig
7pm Monday

Following a midweek capitulation in the Croatian capital and three defeats in their opening five league games, a fierce Istanbul derby against Besiktas could not have come at a worse time for Fenerbahce.

They were humbled 4-1 away to Dinamo Zagreb in the Europa League on Thursday and could crumble against a Besiktas side who have notched in every match this term.

The visitors enjoyed a positive start to their Europa League campaign, beating debutants Sarpsborg 3-1 last week, with in-form Ryan Babel finding the net for the third consecutive game.

The former Liverpool forward has been a key component of a rotating front line expected to be spearheaded by Vagner Love against Fenerbache, following Alvaro Negredo’s departure to Dubai last week.

Last campaign saw Besiktas post their worst league finish since the 2011-12 season but the Black Eagles have started the new term with three wins, a draw and a defeat from their opening five encounters.

They have netted at least twice in seven of their last eight league games and can capitalise on a Fenerbache outfit who are particularly leaky at home.

The Yellow Canaries shipped 23 goals at the Sukru Saracoglu Stadium in the Super Lig last season - more than Besiktas and Galatasaray’s combined home goals conceded tallies - and defeat could be on the cards for last term’s runners-up.

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The visitors enjoyed a positive start to their European campaign, beating debutants Sarpsborg 3-1 last week
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