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Friday, March 15, 2013
Why Real Madrid should be very wary about the threat of Galatasaray
By Chris O'Donnell
Mourinho v Drogba. Sneijder and Altintop back to face their former teams. The two top scorers in the competition come face to face. Without a doubt, Real Madrid v Galatasaray is
one of the most exciting Champions League Quarter-Final ties.
Nobody can question the quality Real Madrid, with one of the strongest squads in Europe and looking for their record 10th Champions League triumph makes them the favourites for this tie. But their opponents, Galatasaray, pose a massive threat and are certainly no push-overs.
The key factor for Galatasaray being within a chance of progressing is the 2nd leg being held in İstanbul. The atmosphere at the Türk Telekom Arena on that night will be electric, louder than any other of the ties, especially if Galatasaray are in with a chance. Galatasaray must keep it tight in the first leg in Madrid, with the aim to take a decent result back home. I think Galatasaray will have to score an away goal or two, which they’re well capable of. Any more is a massive bonus
Burak Yılmaz has scored 8 out of Galatasaray’s 11 Champions League goals so far, but they’re by no means a one-man-team. New marquee signings Didier Drogba and Wesley Sneijder have yet to fully make their mark on Turkish football, but I have no doubt that in time they will. Both aren’t fully fit at the moment and Fatih Terim is yet to find a position to suit Sneijder without affecting the balance of the Galatasaray team. He has time now to find out before the Real Madrid tie, he’s a fantastic coach and I’m sure he will. Drogba and Sneijder should be fully fit and fresh for the games against Real Madrid and their Champions League experience will be a massive lift to the team.
They have a fantastic young goalkeeper in Fernando Muslera, his great display against Schalke in the 2nd leg was a massive factor in Galatasaray progressing. Without him, they would most likely be out and Schalke would be playing against Real Madrid. The midfield is strong with Felipe Melo doing the hard work and set piece specialist Selçuk İnan pulling the strings and making those killer through balls into the strike force of Burak and Drogba. We all know the quality that Wesley Sneijder posesses and if he’s on top of his game then Galatasaray should give Real Madrid a real game. Out wide, Hamit Altintop and Nordin Amrabat and good but nothing great. They will have to track back a lot as Madrid pose world class wingers in Ronaldo and Di Maria.
The weakness in the Galatasaray team is the defence. Eboue, Semih, Dany and Riera will be the likely back 4, and are very prone to mistakes. Melo, Selçuk and the wide men will have to help out the defence big time as Real Madrid pose a huge attacking threat.
At the end of the day, it’s about the team who scores the most goals. When Galatasaray get into their attacking stride they’ll be very hard to stop. They just have to find that balance between attack and defence. One thing is for sure, the fans will be right behind Galatasaray. From the minute the Real Madrid players and staff arrive in the airport in İstanbul to the minute they leave, the intimidating Galatasaray faithful won’t give them any peace.