DAVID SMITH - Thursday, March 10, 2011
Jozy Altidore will hope to open his scoring account for Bursaspor when they visit Kardemir Karabükspor, and Freddy Adu will look to build on last week's game-winning performance on Rizespor's trip to Giresunspor.
Kardemir Karabükspor - Bursaspor
Jozy Altidore will be in Bursaspor's starting eleven on Saturday afternoon when they pay a visit to surprise package Kardemir Karabükspor.
Bursa are seeing their chances of a second straight league title slow slip out of their grip. With only one win through their last four games, a five-point gap behind Fenerbahce and Trabzonspor in the top two has developed, making the road to even return to the Champions for a second straight year difficult.
Altidore looked solid in his return from a short injury absence in setting up his team's lone goal during last weekend's draw, and will hope to build on the performance as Busaspor try desperately to keep pressure on their opponents at the top of the standings.
For their part, Karabükspor, or the Blue Flames as they are known to their fans have looked solid in their return to the Turkish top flight after an 11-year exile in the lower divisions.
Their current 10th place standing and 33 points through 24 games has them set to stay in the division, and a three-game unbeaten streak has them slowly climbing the ranks towards the upper half of the standings.
The first meeting between these two teams in Bursa during October ended in a 2-2 stalemate, giving both teams some unfinished business to deal with when they meet again on Saturday in the Yenisehir Stadium.
Bursaspor will continue be without a pair of players, as defender Gokcek Vederson and midfielder Volkan Sen are still undergoing treatment for their injury problems, while midfielder Turgay Bahadir is questionable after being forced to miss practice to undergo treatment during the week.
Forward Bulunan Emenike and midfielder Tozo are expected to miss the game for the hosts due to injuries.
Giresunspor - Caykur Rizespor
After opening his scoring account last weekend, Freddy Adu will look to help Rizespor make a push for promotion on Sunday when they visit feeble Giresunspor.
Adu's first-half goal was the lone score in last week's tight win over Gaziantep, and gave them a vital three points which pushed them back up to third place in the standings.
With practically all of their promotion competitors at the top of the standings facing off against each other during the weekend, their visit to relegation threatened Giresunspor is a perfect opportunity to push their way to the lead should either Orduspor or Linyitspor stumble.
They currently trail each of the aforementioned teams by one point, and a tight pack which sees first through seventh separated by just four points assures that the final run-in over the league's final 11 games will be a thrilling one.
Giresunspor are languishing at the opposite end of the 1. Lig standings, slowly losing a battle against several other teams to avoid the drop.