Besiktas v Karabukspor
Monday April 28, 18:00
The Big Apple turned out to be a rotten apple for our pal Tobias Gourlay, as the New York Red Bulls and the LA Galaxy produced two goals instead of three. He's leaving today, and so are we, because we're visiting the Turkish Super Lig.
It's been a terrific title race in Turkey, with Galatasaray, Fenerbahce and Besiktas all still in the hunt. Despite a recent defeat at Fener, Besiktas can return to the summit tonight if they beat relegation-zone dwellers Karabukspor.
Former Croatia defender Slaven Bilic has made his Besiktas side in his own image - they are ultra-competitive and tough to beat, and they have only lost five games in the league all season. Just two of those defeats have come at home, and they were against their two title rivals. Against the rest of the division Besiktas have won seven and drawn four of their games at Istanbul's Ataturk Stadium.
Karabukspor are in the bottom three, and seven points adrift of safety. Away from home they have really struggled, losing nine of their 13 away games and winning just once. They have leaked 28 goals in those road matches at an average of more than two per game.
Besiktas have shown they can be expansive as well as gritty, and in the last six weeks they have handed out 5-1 beatings to both Kayserispor and Kasimpasa, both of whom are at least as good as Karabukspor.
The market doesn't think Besiktas will win big, as they don't have a great recent record against Karabukspor, and have only won three home games by a margin of two goals or greater. That said, this is a clash between a team that can go top, and a team that is floundering at the wrong end of the table. Karabukspor have lost their last four away games, and I think they're in for another hiding here.
Back Besiktas -1.0 on the Asian Handicap at 2.01