Two giants of Turkish football, Istabul rivals Besiktas JK and Fenerbahçe SK, face off at Besiktas' Inönü stadium on Sunday attempting to atone for their midweek disappointments in Europe.
Kaká solo strike
Christoph Daum's Fenerbahçe came close to nicking a point from their match away to AC Milan in the UEFA Champions League but went down 3-1 after Kaká scored a memorable solo goal and Andriy Shevchenko added a penalty in the last five minutes. However, Turkey midfielder Selçuk Sahin said they would take many positive things from the game.
'Performance was very good'
"It would have been good for morale if we had taken at least a point from our Champions League match against Milan but we know that only the result was negative, our performance was very good. Therefore we do not feel down," he said.
Venue 'not important'
He also claimed that his team-mates were unfazed at the prospect of play at a noisy Inönü stadium: "All of my team-mates are deeply motivated for the Besiktas game. We will go to Inönü stadium to win. The venue is not important for us." The Turkish Football Association's disciplinary committee had originally ordered the derby to take place at a neutral ground following disturbances in Besiktas's home game against Diyarbakirspor, but the decision was overturned on appeal.
Cover for Appiah
Fenerbahçe's Ghanaian midfield player Stephen Appiah went off in Milan on Tuesday with a suspected groin strain, and plays no part on Sunday. He is the visitors' only injury concern. "Appiah's injury is unfortunate but his replacements have the ability to cover for him," said Selçuk.
Things appear much worse for Besiktas, who lost 1-0 at home to unfancied Swedish side Malmö FF in the UEFA Cup on Thursday. While they still have time to turn the tie around in the second leg, the result has demolished their confidence. Injuries have robbed them of key players, with veteran midfielder Sergen Yalçin and defender Mustafa Dogan definitely ruled out and Tümer Metin doubtful with a hamstring strain. Brazilian striker Ailton and defensive duo Adem Dursun and Gökhan Zan all missed the Malmö game, and question marks remain over their fitness.
Form book favours Besiktas
Coach Riza Çalimbay was angry about the Malmö defeat but remained defiiant ahead of the derby. He said: "We will win at home with the great support our fans despite our injury problems." The statistics lend weight to his confidence, with Besiktas' league form much the better. They have six wins from their last ten matches, while Fenerbahçe have just three.
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