Fenerbahçe will embark on a short journey from Kadiköy on Monday to lock horns with Ümraniyespor in the Spor Toto Süper Lig’s 20th week in a bid to apply further pressure on log leaders Galatasaray.
A daunting task awaits giants Fenerbahçe as they set foot on the unfamiliar turf of the 3,500-seater Ümraniye City Stadium, where a ravenous crowd will be baying for Ümraniyespor to pick up any precious point that could potentially save them from relegation.
The Yellow Canaries occupy a lofty second place standing in the league, with an impressive 38 points accrued from their 12 wins, two draws and four losses.
The situation, however, is drastically different for the boys from Ümraniye, languishing in the relegation zone and with a meager 14 points accumulated from three wins, five draws and 10 losses.
Monday’s encounter between the Fenerbahçe and Ümraniyespor will be only the second time these two teams have ever crossed paths in the Süper Lig.
In their initial encounter earlier in the season, the Yellow Canaries were held to a 3-3 stalemate, indicating that while the Red-White may be languishing at the bottom of the table, they are far from pushovers, as they can cause an upset.
Much to the astonishment of onlookers, the unlikely heroes of the 2018-2019 Ziraat Turkey Cup Round of 16, the Red-White side of Ümraniyespor pulled off an upset against the highly favored Yellow Canaries in both legs of the competition, advancing to the next round with aplomb.
Fenerbahçe has put in an impressive Süper Lig away performance this season, picking up 16 points from a possible 24 with five wins, one draw and two losses from eight games on the road.
The Yellow-Navy side has been utterly impressive, boasting an incredible conversion rate of 18 goals scored to just seven conceded.
The 18th week of the season saw the Yellow Canaries edging Gaziantep FK, emerging victorious with a 2-1 scoreline.
Besides entering the game as overwhelming favorites, Fenerbahçe is unfortunately also facing its issues.
The unfortunate Joao Pedro has been ruled out of action due to injury. In contrast, Irfan Can Kahveci, who was handed a two-match suspension for his red card in the Galatasaray derby, will have served his ban in time for their upcoming clash against Kasımpaşa next week, but Monday’s match comes too soon for him.
Six Fenerbahçe players are perilously close to being issued suspensions, as Ferdi Kadıoğlu, Miguel Crespo, Serdar Aziz, Mert Hakan Yandaş, Gustavo Henrique and Attila Szalai all are one yellow card each away from an automatic ban.
These players must be especially cautious in their upcoming match against Ümraniyespor, as any bookings will render them unavailable for their next fixture against Kasımpaşa in the 21st week.
Abdulkadir Bitigen will be the commander in charge, clutching the whistle firmly in his grasp, with the assistance of Ceyhun Sesigüzel, Murat Tuğberk Curbay and Bahattin Şimşek as the fourth official.