Champions League Group B : Galatasaray v Real Madrid preview

Match preview of the upcoming Champions League group B fixture as Real Madrid travel to Istanbul to take on Galatasaray, for Forza Futbol

Real Madrid will go to an old foe on Tuesday night, in the form of Galatasaray a team that they are more than familiar with after their meetings in the last year’s competition.

That meeting was at the quarter-final stage which saw a Madrid side, then managed by Jose Mourinho eliminated the Turkish champions with a 5-3 aggregate score, though the tie itself was much closer than the aggregate score would suggest. In both legs of the tie Galatasaray were arguably the better side, with a few questionable decisions going against them in the Bernabeu – in particular a Sergio Ramos foul on Burak Yilmaz which looked a clear penalty. Madrid’s class and big match experience in the end told as they held on to go through.

Madrid will go to Istanbul in the attempt to win for the first time in their history away at Galatasaray and it will not be an easy task at all, I am sure Ancelotti and his players will be fully aware, especially if last season’s tie is anything to go by. So a little bit of history is there to be made if Ancelotti’s men can leave the Turk Telekom Arena with three points.

Both sides come into this clash on the back of drawing their previous fixture. Galatasaray drew 1-1 at home with Antalyaspor, with Ivorian striker Didier Drogba on target for Cimbom, Madrid on the other hand got a 2-2 draw with high-flying Villarreal at El Madrigal, which in fairness was a match they could easily have lost, and looked slightly dis-jointed from middle to front and less than convincing at the back with Pepe and Sergio Ramos in the centre of defence.

Possible starting line-ups:

Key Battles: 

Drogba v Sergio Ramos – Drogba despite his age is still a handful, he scored the equaliser against Antalyaspor as I mentioned previously, Sergio Ramos will have to be on top of his game to keep the striker at bay, although it is the kind of battle Ramos enjoys, will be interesting to see who comes out on top.

Felipe Melo v Isco – The Brazillian will have his hands full with Madrid’s new playmaker, Isco will drift from centre to left in order to create space for the likes of Ronaldo, Bale and Benzema he will also make late runs into the box to try and get himself a goal. Melo, who is fond of a yellow card must not get booked early on or he will be in for a very long night.

Sneijder v Khedira – Sneijder who didn’t play too well the last time these sides met will be looking to get one over on his old side, I think Khedira will be the man picked to marshal him rather than Illarramendi, simply because the German has more big game experience, he will have to protect Pepe and Sergio Ramos and close the space so Sneijder cannot get any shots from the 25-yard yard range, as his shooting can be lethal at times.

Sabri v Ronaldo – The Danger man for Los Blancos of course is Ronaldo, Sabri is an adventurous full-back who likes to attack, but he may have to reign that in when he will more than likely be up against the Portuguese star who scored the last time in the Turk Telecom Area and i’m sure he will be looking to do the same again on Tuesday.

Prediction  

I think this game will be an open attacking affair, Terim is confident his men can repeat the feat of last season and win the game, although Ancelotti I think may play slightly conservative and look to hit Galatasaray on the counter-attack. It will be a good one for the neutral that’s for sure, I shall go 2-1 to Real Madrid with Ronaldo and Isco scoring for Real Madrid and Burak Yilmaz for the home side.

The original article can be seen here at : Forza Futbol

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