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Sep 18, 2021 at 5pm UK
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Preview: Antalyaspor vs. Besiktas - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Antalyaspor vs. Besiktas - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Turkish Super Lig clash between Antalyaspor and Besiktas, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

After a home defeat in Europe during the week, Besiktas return to domestic duty in the Turkish Super Lig on Saturday, as they meet Antalyaspor.

Already top of the table following an unbeaten start, the Istanbul giants are seeking a fourth consecutive league win.

Match preview

Despite Javi Montero's late header setting up a grand finale on Wednesday, the opening night of their Champions League ended in defeat for Besiktas.

Erling Haaland's strike - his 21st goal from 17 games in the competition - and a goal from England midfielder Jude Bellingham were ultimately enough for Borussia Dortmund to return to Germany with all three points, leaving the Black Eagles empty-handed.

Nonetheless, Sergen Yalcin's side have won each of their last three league games either side of the international break - scoring eight times and keeping a trio of clean sheets in the process.

Their most recent success, over Yeni Malatyaspor last week, saw recent loan signing Michy Batshuayi bag a brace - with a goal either side of the interval - and they ran out 3-0 winners at Vodafone Park, having dominated throughout.

Former Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic set up Batshuayi's opening effort, and is another new recruit who has bolstered Yalcin's options for the long campaign ahead.

Besiktas naturally boast a strong record at home - as to be expected of the reigning Turkish champions - with only four defeats in their last 27 outings at their Istanbul headquarters.

However, they must now take the long journey south to Antalya with another win in mind, as they aim to lift the Super Lig title for the 17th time, after pipping reviled rivals Galatasaray to the trophy last term.

On Saturday, their latest league opponents, Antalyaspor, will face them for the 51st time in the Turkish top flight, having lost 33 of those meetings and won only six.

The Scorpions are, of course, outsiders despite home advantage, but are on a run of three games without defeat against Besiktas - featuring one win and two draws - and are going in search of a first-ever four-game unbeaten streak against the capital club.

Following consecutive top-half finishes in the league, the team currently managed by Ersun Yanal finished a lowly 16th last year - only four points clear of the drop - so would be thrilled to pick up some morale-boosting points against the top sides early this term.

Having already been beaten by Fenerbahce late last month, they went on to beat Rizespor 3-2, before last week's 2-0 reverse at Gaziantep BB - leaving the Red-and-Whites down in 15th in the standings.

Antalyaspor Turkish Super Lig form:
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • L

Antalyaspor form (all competitions):
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L

Besiktas Turkish Super Lig form:
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W

Besiktas form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L

Team News

Besiktas come into Saturday's game with doubts over forward Alex Teixeira and Georges-Kevin N'Koudou, while experienced Croatia defender Domagoj Vida - who was forced off in the recent win over Yeni Malatyaspor - is expected to be out until next month with a foot injury.

Umut Meras is struggling with a muscular problem too, and Montenegrin striker Ajdin Hasic is a long-term injury absentee.

The visitors are once more set to be led by the recently arrived Michy Batshuayi up front and, after securing his services on loan from Barcelona, midfielder Miralem Pjanic may start again in the centre. Veteran engine room operator Mehmet Topal could join the Bosnian there, having spent Wednesday's match on the bench.

Meanwhile, the home side will start with former Espanyol and Getafe centre-back Naldo at the heart of their four-man defence, with former Turkey star Nuri Sahin set to play in midfield.

Enzo Crivelli and Haji Wright are vying for the lone striker's role, as Antalyaspor attempt to soak up pressure and hit on the counter-attack.

Antalyaspor possible starting lineup:
Boffin; Balci, Sari, Naldo, Vural; Sahin, Poli; Bayrakdar, Milosevic, Mukairu; Crivelli

Besiktas possible starting lineup:
Destanoglu; Rosier, Montero, Welinton, Yilmaz; Topal, Pjanic; Ghezzal, Ucan, Tore; Batshuayi

We say: Antalyaspor 1-3 Besiktas

Besiktas are poised to end a three-game barren run against their southern opponents this weekend, as their new signings are a cut above anything Antalyaspor can offer in return.

Expect the visitors to take an early lead and establish their dominance - proving that persistent underachievement in Europe need not affect their domestic duties.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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