Current league leaders Galatasaray face a tricky trip to ninth-placed Sivasspor on Saturday evening in Turkey as the Istanbul giants try and extend their unbeaten streak to six games
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After a run of four wins and a draw which included their progression to the knockouts stages of the Champions League, everything is coming up smelling of roses for Galatasaray at present.
Fatih Terim’s side came from behind to win 2-1 at Braga last Wednesday night: a result which snuck the Turkish champions ahead of CFR Cluj into the last 16 of Europe’s premier club competition.
Aydin Yilmaz, who came off the bench at Braga to scoring Gala’s match-winner against the Arsenalistas, will be pushing for a starting berth at Sivas, but he’ll have plenty of competition for a forward role in the team with Buruk Yilmaz, Johan Elmander, Nordin Amrabat and Hamit Altıntop all vying for selections.
Galatasaray also have a strong defensive spine to take to Sivas with Felipe Melo anchoring the midfield, ahead of defenders Emmanuel Eboue and Dany Nounkeu, while Uruguayan keeper Fernando Musela will start between the sticks.
After ending up as Turkish runners-up back in 2009, Sivasspor have been a team on the slide. Last season they finished the campaign in 7th, and unless they pick up speed soon, Rıza Çalımbay’s team are unlikely to make European football next season.
Yet Sivas welcome Galatasaray in the knowledge that they’ve won their last three straight homem matches, and they’ll be hopefully that Gala will be jaded from their recent Champions League escapades.
Nigerian forward Michael Eneramo is the club’s leading marksman with five goals in 14 games, while Polish international Kamil Grosicki is one of Sivas’ most important cogs in their midfield.
Galatasaray have had a mixed set of results against Sivasspor in recent seasons, and it would be little surprise if Saturday’s match ended in a stalemate.