Reigning champions to beat league newcomers
The champions of the Turkish second tier host reigning champions Galatasaray in the opening match of the Super Lig 2019/20 season. It has been a busy summer transfer window for the top flight newcomers with 16 new additions to bolster their squad for the challenge that lies ahead, Fatih Terim’s men have managed to get nine deals of their own across the line in the hope of winning their third consecutive league title. Gala will come into this one as narrow favourites though Denizlispor’s new look squad will be ready to steal the spotlight on Friday evening.
Roosters failed to win their final three preparation matches, two draws at home, 2-2 with Umraniyespor and a goalless fixture against Goztepe. Before losing 3-1 away to Altay. Gala showed their class with three consecutive wins against Bordeaux, Panathinaikos and Akhisarspor respectively just prior to a crushing 4-1 defeat at the hands of Serie A’s Fiorentina.
Yucel Ildiz brought in a tried and tested forward in Hugo Rodallega for the newcomers from Trabzonspor. The Colombian former Wigan and Fulham goalscorer is now 33 and has impressed in his three and a half season stint in the Super Lig, netting 35 times in 80 appearances at Trabzonspor including 16 last term. To offer plenty of pace out wide the addition of Gambia international Modou Barrow from Reading is sure to stretch teams throughout the season. The 26-year-old managed four goals and six assists in a struggling Royals side last season, and it will be interesting to see how he fares after an up and down career in England.
The 22-time league winners used the loan market well to strengthen their ranks with the signings of Jean-Michael Seri and Emre Mor from Fulham and Celta Vigo. Seri formerly a target of Barcelona during his time at Nice performed admirably in a desperately poor Fulham side that were relegated from the Premier League last season, the Ivorian will be looking to get his career back on track in this loan and restore his reputation as he nears his peak aged 26. Turkey international Mor is still looking to prove himself in the men’s game having been touted as a wonderkid in his youth, now at 22 he is coming home following frustrating spells with Borussia Dortmund and his parent club in Spain, only managing two goals in 58 appearances since leaving FC Nordsjaelland in 2016. Another astute attacking acquisition is the services of Netherlands international Ryan Babel. The former Liverpool winger made a good impact for Fulham last campaign having joined from Besiktas in January, with five goals and four assists in the second half of the season as the Cottagers improved under new management.
Denizlispor will give a good account of themselves in the baptism of fire with Galatasaray, but ultimately Terim’s side will have too much for them and start their title defence with a win.
Denizlispor – Galatasaray Betting Tip
Galatasaray to Win with Black Type at odds of 4/6.