In the second week of the Turkish Super League, Fenerbahce will host Eskisehirspor in a mouth-watering clash that will place two familiar faces against one another.
However, one player, Alper Potuk, will be happy to face his old side (Eskisehirspor), while Henry Bienvenu will look to score against Fener, especially since he was mainly on the bench during his stay in Istanbul.
Fenerbahce are coming off of two-straight losses: 3-2 at Konyaspor in the opening match of the TSL, then a 3-0 home thrashing against Arsenal in the first leg of the UCL play-offs. Therefore, winning this opening league fixture at home is a must, especially since they are already three points behind their arch-rivals Besiktas and Galatasaray.
This is going to be a game where Fener will play with the motivation they definitely lacked against Arsenal. Eskisehir is a side that will fight tooth and nail until the final whistle, whether they are winning, drawing or losing. Therefore, Fener have to play a smart game where they are 100 percent focused on defending, holding down the fort in midfield and attacking with a purpose.
Let’s get this out in the opening right now: Arsenal is a much better side than Eskisehirspor no matter what happens between the two sides if they were ever to meet. Arsenal’s entire squad, except for one defender (Mertesacker), is quick, skilled and knows how to play the passing and running game to near perfection. Their goal keeper is also world class.
Why does any of that matter?
Fener have to take advantage of facing a Turkish side by exploiting all of their weaknesses while simultaneously being almost perfect defensively so they could stop any attacks and hit the opponent on the counter. They can win this game, and hey, are certainly expected to do so.
In addition, this is a warm-up game for the second leg at the Emirates next week. If Fener win this match convincingly (not necessarily score-wise, but domination-wise), they can give themselves a much-needed boost of confidence.