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Trabzonspor vs. Besiktas: Date, Time, Info and Preview

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Trabzonspor vs. Besiktas: Date, Time, Info and Preview
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Besiktas striker Hugo Almeida is the league's top scorer.

The Turkish Super Lig returns following a winter break, and the standout match of the opening round of fixtures is undoubtedly Besiktas' trip to Trabzonspor.

Both sides remain in contention for a second-placed finish if they can put a run of form together, and this return to action offers a chance to climb the table.

 

When: Saturday, January 25; 5 p.m. GMT

Where: Huseyin Avni Aker, Trabzon, Turkey

EuroFootball/Getty Images
Florent Malouda left Chelsea for Trabzonspor last summer.

 

Key Storylines

Besiktas and Trabzonspor will both be eager to get the second half of the season off on the right foot after making a slow start to the campaign.

League leaders Fenerbahce are 12 points ahead of fourth-placed Besiktas and 14 ahead of Trabzonspor, meaning a title challenge is out of the question for both teams.

That is a more disappointing statistic for Besiktas, though, who have only domestic competitions to focus on following their ban from UEFA competitions for alleged match-fixing.

Trabzonspor, who can boast Champions League winners Florent Malouda and Jose Bosingwa among their ranks, have the Europa League to distract them and an attractive tie against Juventus on the horizon.

EuroFootball/Getty Images
Jose Bosingwa departed the Premier League for Trabzonspor last summer.

Realistically, though, they won't get much change from the Italian champions and need to keep a focus on returning to European competition via the league next season or risk some of their star names becoming unhappy.

As far as key men in the Besiktas squad, it is hard to look past the figure of Portugal international Hugo Almeida, the division's top scorer to date, per UEFA.com.

Almeida has 11 goals in 15 games this campaign, a formidable record, and if he returns after the break as sharp as he left, then he will prove a real handful.

The match is also notable as it sees Besiktas' highly rated goalkeeper, Tolga Zengin, return to his former club, and the Turkey international will no doubt be desperate to impress against old teammates.

 

Prediction: Trabzonspor 0-2 Besiktas

With so much at stake for Besiktas, it is hard to see beyond them for this game, and they should have enough to keep Trabzonspor at bay.

The hosts will need their home stadium full and for the fans to give them a lift, but if Almeida is on song, then Besiktas will have the advantage.

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