Turkish Super Lig: Galatasaray host Istanbul Basaksehir in potential title-decider
The race for the Turkish Super Lig 2018/19 title may well conclude this Sunday when Galatasaray take on newly minted rivals Istanbul Basaksehir at the Turk Telekom Arena. The fixture is likely to sway the title race as the league heads into its final matchday next week.
The two teams are joint top with 66 points each. Gala currently hold top spot with a superior goal difference. A win for the home team would give them a 3-point lead and a goal difference that will be too difficult to overcome. A win for Basaksehir, on the other hand, would put them in the driver's seat.
Should Basaksehir produce the goods on the night, they will be the favourites to win the Super Lig for the first time in their history, becoming just the 6th side to win Turkish football's biggest trophy. This will indeed be quite an accomplishment for a team founded in 1990.
Despite their tag of underdogs, Basaksehir have dominated the season, sitting on an 8 point lead until recently. However, a recent run of poor results with only 1 win in their last 5 matches, have enabled last season's champions to gain ground.
The fixture between the teams at the summit of the table will feature some of the finest talent the Super Lig has to offer, with top scorer Mbaye Diagne (30 goals) and Everton loanee Henry Onyekuru set to start for the hosts. Former Premier League stars Robinho and Emmanuel Adebayor are also expected to feature for Basaksehir.
City rivals and former champions Besiktas also have an outside chance of claiming the league title should Sunday's match end in a draw. Both Galatasaray and Istanbul Basaksehir would need to lose their final game while the Black Eagles would need to win both of their remaining games to pip their two rivals to the trophy.
On Saturday, they travel to 4th-placed Trabzonspor. Their previous meeting back in December at Vodafone Park ended in a 2-2 draw and a repeat of that result would put their titles hopes to bed.