The Galatasaray vs Fenerbahce rivalry has been present for over a century, with the two Istanbul-based clubs by far the most successful in Turkish football. Galatasaray have won 23 Super Lig titles, while Fenerbahce have won 19, and they are currently neck and neck in this season's title race.
Both are first and second on 44 points, with Fenerbahce only leading on goal difference, and the most recent Intercontinental derby on Christmas Eve finished 0-0. They were both on a four-game winning streak in the league before then, and it is shaping up to be one of the closest title races ever.
Galatasaray vs Fenerbahce rivalry – 2023/24 Super Lig odds
Galatasaray – Evens
Galatasaray are currently favourites to win the Super Lig, despite trailing Fenerbahce on goal difference. This may be because of their superior success in the competition, and the fact they won the 2022/23 title. Fenerbahce also played at home on Christmas Eve, so Galatasaray have the advantage of playing at home in the reverse fixture.
Fenerbahce – 2/1
Fenerbahce are second-favourites to lift their first Super Lig trophy for a decade. They may be buoyed by the fact Galatasaray have dropped down from the UEFA Champions League to the Europa League, while they play in the inferior Europa Conference League in the second half of the season, which could help them domestically.
Kayserispor – 250/1
Kayserispor are joint-third favourites to win the title ahead of Galatasaray and Fenerbahce, albeit at very long odds. They are currently in fourth place, 15 points behind the leaders, but have never won a Super Lig before.
Trabzonspor – 250/1
Trabzonspor are also 250/1 to defy the odds and lift the trophy. They are in third place, 14 points behind Galatasaray and Fenerbahce, and have won the league seven times prior, with their most recent success in 2021/22.
Others – 500/1
There are five teams at 500/1 odds to win the title: Besiktas, Adana Demirspor, Kasimpasa, Antalyaspor and Rizespor. Of these, only Besiktas have won the league before, doing so 16 times and most recently in 2020/21.
Galatasaray vs Fenerbahce rivalry – Memorable title races
1993/94 – Galatasaray win title by one point
20 years ago, a close title race saw Galatasaray beat Fenerbahce by one point. They both beat each other at home, so took three points each off one another. This season was two before the campaign involving the infamous incident with Graeme Souness, where the then Galatasaray manager planted a Galatasaray flag in the middle of the pitch after his team beat Fenerbahce 1-0 in the first leg of the cup final.
2005/06 – Galatasaray win title by two points
The 2005/06 season saw Galatasaray beat Fenerbahce to the title again, this time by two points. Fenerbahce actually won both of the H2Hs, but it was still not enough to take the title off their rivals. The season after, Fenerbahce were guaranteed to be champions before Galatasaray played them in May, and when thousands of water bottles were thrown by Galatasaray fans, it was nicknamed the “water derby”.
2017/18 – Galatasaray edge four-horse race
2017/18 saw Galatasaray and Fenerbahce joined by Istanbul Basaksehir and Besiktas in a thrilling four-horse race to win the Super Lig. Galatasaray ended up winning the title with a three-point lead over second-placed Fenerbahce, with all four teams separated by just four points. Despite Galatasaray's streak of success, it must be noted that between 1999–2020, they could not beat Fenerbahce away from home, known as the “Kadikoy curse”.