Two sides stuck on one point apiece through two match days clash on Tuesday night in the UEFA Champions League when Real Madrid travel to Istanbul to face Galatasaray.
Turk Telekom Arena, Istanbul, Turkey
Key Stat: Real Madrid's loss on Saturday was just their second so far this season, the second time, following their loss in Paris to PSG, that came on the road.
Expert Verdict: There are very, very few guarantees anymore when it relates to Real Madrid. There were days, years even, when a match like this would be seen as a formality. But that's just no longer the case. A trip to Istanbul is never easy, and this is not a Los Blancos side that have a ton of extra quality about them to make it appear that way. After a loss away to Mallorca, it's not hard to see Galatasaray coming away with at least a point from this fixture.
Fatih Terim will be without midfielders Emre Akbaba and Mario Lemina and striker Falcao here due to injuries as they look to record their first win in the group.
Galatasaray will be looking for the first win, and goal, of the UCL campaign here, and they will hope that Florian Andone, the former Brighton striker, might be able to fire that in for them. The Romanian scored twice on Friday in the league, and they will hope he can keep that form up here. Alongside him, they will have the inconsistent but often dangerous Ryan Babel. The Dutchman also scored on Friday and has plenty of experience scoring big goals in big competitions in the past.
Galatasaray have two wins, two draws, and a loss in their last five matches:
3-2 home win vs Silvasspor
3-2 home win vs Istanbulspor (Fri)
0-0 draw at Genclebirlgi
0-1 home loss vs PSG (UCL)
0-0 home draw vs Fenerbahce
Defenders:Ozbayrakli, Luyindama, Teixeira, Tasdemir
Midfielders:Mor, Belhanda, Nzonzi, Seri, Babel
Zinedine Zidane has some major issues on the injury front, as he has Marco Asensio, Nacho, Toni Kroos, Lucas Vasquez, Gareth Bale, and Luka Modric all out at the moment.
Times like these call for leadership, and there may be no better man in modern football when it comes to that than Sergio Ramos. The veteran center back can score goals just as capably as he can keep them out, and his unheard of experience could be vital in Istanbul to Los Blancos’ hopes of winning. Up front, they will hope that veteran French striker Karim Benzema will be able to pick up where he left off the last time these sides met. He scored twice on them back in a 6-1 win in 2014, and he’s looked like their best player, by far, so far this season.
Real Madrid have a loss, two wins, and two draws in their last five matches:
1-0 loss at Mallorca
4-2 home win vs Granada
2-2 home draw vs Club Brugge (UCL)
0-0 draw at Atletico Madrid
2-0 home win vs Osasuna
Defenders:Odriozola, Militao, Ramos, Marcelo
Midfielders:James, Isco, Casemiro
Forwards:Jovic, Benzema, Hazard
In nine prior meetings, Galatasaray have three wins and six losses against Real Madrid. They played four times in the UCL in the calendar year of 2013, with Real winning three and losing once.
Bet365 have the following odds available for this match:
Galatasaray are at 19/4, a draw is at 3/1, and Real Madrid are at 11/20.
Group A looks like it is headed to one team and one team only, and that is PSG. The Paris side have six points out of six on offer so far, four more than Club Brugge who are in second at this stage. Effectively speaking, they need just one more win to basically knot it up and two more to do so for sure. In third and fourth are our combatants here, Real Madrid and Galatasaray, each on a point apiece. Both will know they really need a result here to stay in it, though this group looks far from over regardless of the end result.
Galatasaray come into this match having had a difficult time of it in Turkey so far this season. In the Super Lig, they are sitting in fourth place on 13 points from eight matches. It sounds awful, and it’s not the best, but they have lost just once. It’s the draws- four of them- that have harmed them in their bid to win the title. Despite their slow start, they are not far behind and will likely unleash an assault upon the title in the weeks and months to come. At home this season in all comps, they have three wins, two draws, and a loss, with the loss coming against PSG.
Real Madrid, meanwhile, will come into this match in a bit of a bad mood after losing for the first time in La Liga on Saturday. Their 1-0 loss at Mallorca means they are in second spot in the division, one point off of the pace of rivals Barcelona for the lead. They will be a little discouraged seeing as how they have a loss less yet are a point back, and they could be out of the title race now, effectively speaking. Their away record thus far this season includes two wins, two draws, and two losses.
Both sides scoring is at Betfair for 1.67.
Ladbrokes have Gala scoring first at 9/5.
It may seem to be wishful thinking, but Galatasaray are not a side to be trifled with here. Real are not going about their business very well, and they could just be in for yet another shock when they encounter the Turks.