Champion Galatasaray ready to party in derby game

Turkish Süper Lig champion Galatasaray will be looking to end the season on a high when it hosts archrival Fenerbahçe in an Intercontinental Derby on June 4.

Galatasaray claimed its record 23rd Süper Lig title on May 30 night with a 4-1 win over Ankaragücü, winning its first league trophy since the 2018-2019 season.

The home match against Fenerbahçe will be the peak of the week-long celebrations, and Galatasaray has no intention of letting its archrival spoil the party.

“Now we will celebrate, have a quick rest, and start our preparations for the next match,” Galatasaray coach Okan Buruk said after the Ankaragücü game.

“Hopefully, we will complete the league by winning the derby match.”

Buruk thanked the club fans and invited them to the derby match.

“The most precious thing for us is to see Galatasaray fans cheering in the streets,” he said. “We have come a long way with them. Seeing their happiness is the most valuable thing for us.”

The derby match will be played in front of a packed stadium as tickets were sold out in just a minute when they went on sale online on June 1.

While Galatasaray prepares for more celebrations, Fenerbahçe wants to win the derby to at least remain in the second spot and maybe ease the pressure on coach Jorge Jesus and the club’s president, Ali Koç.

Supporters in the stands called for Koç’s resignation during a 2-0 win at home over Antalyaspor on May 30 as the news of Galatasaray securing the tile arrived.

The club has been anything but stable since Koç was elected to the post on June 3, 2018.

In the five-year period, Koç has hired nine different coaches and transferred 81 players, with an estimated cost of approximately $135 million. Fenerbahçe has not won a single league trophy during this period, with another chance to end the curse coming on June 11 when it plays Başakşehir in the Ziraat Turkish Cup final.

Meanwhile, a tough weekend awaits teams involved in the fight against relegation from the Süper Lig.

Hatayspor and Gaziantep, which withdrew from this year’s championship as a result of the devastation caused by earthquakes in southern Türkiye in February in which more than 50,000 people died, will have their spots back in the Süper Lig next season, and two clubs will drop to the lower league.

Ümraniyespor has been relegated, and 16th-placed Giresunspor is having a tough fight not be the second loser of the season.

The Black Sea club will travel to Ümraniyespor on June 3, while Istanbulspor, which is already one point ahead of Giresunspor, will enjoy automatic three points in its game against Gaziantep.

Giresunspor desperately needs a win to be able to carry its fight to the last week of the season.

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