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Turkish Super Lig | Gameweek 31
Apr 4, 2024 at 6.30pm UK
Stadyum Samsun

0 - 0

Raman (90+2')

Nayir (45+2'), Diaby (89')

Preview: Samsunspor vs. Pendikspor - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Turkish Super Lig clash between Samsunspor and Pendikspor, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Looking to bounce back following a disappointing defeat prior to the international break, Samsunspor will welcome relegation-threatened Pendikspor to Samsun 19 Mayis Stadium on Thursday night for a crucial Turkish Super lig clash.

The Red Lightning were convincingly beaten in the end during their final fixture of March, whilst Pendik secured a much-needed maximum over second-tier bound Istanbulspor last time out.

Match preview

Lokomotiv Moscow coach Markus Gisdol during the match on November 25, 2021© Reuters

Returning to this level for the first time in over a decade after lifting the second-tier crown last season, Samsunspor are enjoying a relatively stress-free Super Lig comeback, although their inconsistency of late has prevented Thursday's hosts from competing at the upper echelons of the division.

A 2-1 home victory over Ankaragucu was followed up by the Red Lightning's heaviest defeat of the term seven days' later at strugglers Hatayspor, who breached the net of 28-year-old Okan Kocuk three times courtesy of Carlos Strandberg, Fisayo-Dele Bashiru and Rigoberto Rivas to seal a comfortable success in Mersin.

After the dismissal of Fuat Capa in early October, Markus Gisdol has been in charge at Samsunspor as they navigate through the troubles of being a newly-promoted side, with the German coach's troops currently sitting 12th in the Super Lig standings, five points ahead of Gaziantep FK in 17th.

The Red Lightning have a pair of African stars leading their goalscoring charts in the Super Lig, with Marius Mouandilmadji and Olivier Ntcham netting seven and six league strikes respectively - the former joined Dutch marksman Joel Piroe and manager Russell Martin in the mass exodus of Swansea City last summer.

The foundation of Samsunspor's impressive start to life back at this level has been their commendable home record, with Gisdol's charges winning nine and collecting 29 points from 15 Super Lig contests at Samsun 19 Mayis Stadium, meaning that they rank fifth in terms of home form.

After a potentially fatal run of five-straight defeats in the Super Lig, lowly-ranked Pendikspor gave their survival chances a greatly-required boost with a narrow success over Osman Korkmaz's Istanbulspor on March 15, when the bottom two outfits in the division clashed in Istanbul.

For the first time since the resounding 4-0 victory over Turkish giants Besiktas, Pendik managed to keep a clean sheet - to the delight of goalkeeper Erdem Canpolat - and the hosts sealed maximum points for only the seventh time this season in the 97th minute, when Halil Akbunar got the better of Alp Arda in the visitors' net.

Having earned their right to fight at the top table of Turkish football following their triumph in the second-tier playoffs during 2022-23, it was always going to be a tough task for Pendikspor to retain their Super Lig status, and Thursday's visitors are currently in 19th, four points from safety with only eight matches left to play.

Following the 4-1 drubbing at the hands of Sivasspor on February 25, the Pendik hierarchy decided to end Ivo Vieira's five-month spell in the managerial hotseat in order to bring in former Besiktas player Ibrahim Uzulmez, who has collected three points from his first three matches in charge.

Pendik raided the January transfer market for striking options in a desperate attempt to avoid the dreaded drop this season, with Senegalese forward Mame Thiam arriving from Super Lig rivals Kayserispor after netting 12 goals in 19 league appearances during the first part of the campaign.

Samsunspor Turkish Super Lig form:

Pendikspor Turkish Super Lig form:

Team News

After shipping three without reply at Hatayspor last time out, Samsunspor supporters will have grimaced at the news of Lubomir Satka being sidelined for the remainder of the season due to an ankle injury.

The Red Lightning will therefore require a new partner for Dutchman Alim Ozturk at centre-back, with compatriot Rick van Drongelen being a credible candidate for the role on Thursday night.

The hosts will be without the services of Emre Kilinc, who picked up his fourth yellow card of the campaign prior to the international pause, meaning that the winger will serve a one-game suspension.

Following a first win under the stewardship of Uzulmez, Pendikspor will not want to change their XI too heavily, but Erdem Ozgenc could replace Serkan Asan at right-back.

Murat Akca produced a standout display last time out and should be paired up with Alpaslan Ozturk at the heart of the visitors' backline, protecting German stopper Canpolat in net.

Providing the game-winning assist against Istanbulspor, Erencan Yardimci is pushing for his 14th start of the Super Lig campaign, with the 22-year-old currently on loan from second-tier outfit Eyupspor.

Samsunspor possible starting lineup:
Kocuk; Yavru, Van Drongelen, Ozturk, Gonul; Bennasser, Antalyali; Holse, Ntcham, Dimatta; Raman

Pendikspor possible starting lineup:
Canpolat; Ozgenc, Ozturk, Akca, Sequeira; Ndiaye, Midtsjo, Akbunar, Kaya, Thiam; Nayir

SM words green background

We say: Samsunspor 2-0 Pendikspor

Having won their last three home matches by an aggregate scoreline of 7-1, Samsunspor will be expecting to secure maximum points versus a side who have not won on the road since early November.

Pendikspor's slender victory over Istanbulspor has kept hopes of avoiding relegation alive, but the visitors should prepare for a dose of reality on Thursday night.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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