Preview: Trabzonspor vs. Hatayspor - prediction, team news, lineups
Hatayspor make the trip to an out-of-form Trabzonspor side in the final set of fixtures over the Super Lig matchday on Monday.
Both sides were in Turkish Cup last 16 action in midweek and were taken to 120 minutes with differing outcomes for the two.
Trabzonspor earned a nervy, but crucial, morale-boosting victory over Genclerbirligi, coming out on top after extra time in Ankara.
Needing a 96th-minute equaliser and extra time against a second-tier side is still concerning for the 2022 Turkish champions though.
It was Eren Elmali's last-gasp strike that forced extra time, before Trezeguet clinched the winner in the additional period, as Abdullah Avci's side ended a run of four straight losses.
All of those defeats came in the Super Lig, where their hopes of European qualification are now under serious threat.
Conceding 11 goals in that time, thanks to two woeful defeats at home to Galatasaray (1-5) and Kasimpasa (2-3) has seen them fall out of the top three.
Trabzonspor are fortunate that Besiktas are not showing any sort of consistency either, with the gap between the top two and third now at 24 points.
Losing four in a row has come as something of a surprise, given that Trabzonspor had won six and drawn twice across an eight-game run prior to this set of disappointing results.
Kasimpasa's excellent form will have Trabzonspor on their toes, and an impressive 3-1 win at Adana Demirspor on Friday means the hosts come into this fixture outside of the European places entirely.
While Trabzonspor just about got over the line in midweek, Hatayspor were dumped out of the cup in a heartbreaking manner - losing on penalties away to Istanbul Basaksehir.
Missing three of their five penalties in the shootout proved costly, but they can take heart from the fact it meant they are now four games unbeaten in 90 minutes.
Hatayspor also come into the game following back-to-back league wins over Adana Demirspor and Fatih Karagumruk, a much-needed set of results after a 10-game winless streak.
That has seen them rise to 12th, but Volkan Demirel's side are still only four points above the drop zone.
Trabzon has not been an enjoyable away trip for Hatayspor since their promotion either, as they are yet to win in three visits - losing twice - but they are the side in much better form.
Trabzonspor will remain without both Nicolas Pepe and Paul Onuachu, as the duo prepare to face each other in the Africa Cup of Nations final.
After a late move from Borussia Dortmund in the winter transfer window, Thomas Meunier was handed his debut against Genclerbirligi and got the assist for the side's crucial late equaliser.
Meunier was brought in following the departure of Jens Stryger Larsen, but he may also be required to fill the gap left by Tasos Bakasetas, who has returned to his native Greece, and was so often a reliable source of goals.
The club had hoped Mislav Orsic could provide that attacking spark, but an ACL injury has likely ended his season, while Filip Benkovic is also out for the hosts.
Omer Beyaz is the only Hatayspor absentee heading into this clash, with the midfielder recovering from appendicitis.
The visitors were also busy late in the transfer window, and they gave debuts to new signings Dogukan Sinik and Abdulkadir Parmak against Karagumruk last weekend.
Trabzonspor possible starting lineup:Cakir; Meunier, Baniya, Denswil, Elmali; Mendy, Ozdemir, Bardhi; Visca, Destan, Trezeguet
Hatayspor possible starting lineup:Kardesler; Corekci, Kilama, Maksimovic, Ghoulam; Saglam, Matondo, Dele-Bashiru; Rivas, Strandberg, Joelson Fernandes
We say: Trabzonspor 1-2 Hatayspor
Despite home advantage and more quality on paper, Trabzonspor have been hopelessly out of form recently, and the midweek cup win only papered over some very glaring cracks.
Hatayspor meanwhile, should remain confident despite their penalty shootout defeat, as seven points from their last three league games has seen them move clear of trouble, and another fine result could be on the cards.
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