UEFA Champions League last 16, first leg match between Galatasaray and Schalke at the Turk Telekom Arena Turkish team get challenge with new transfers Didier Drogba & Wesley Sneijder.
Galatasaray are poised to hand former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba his first start for the club, with the Ivorian having scored on his debut after coming off the bench against Akhisar on Friday. Tomas Ujfalusi and Johan Elmander will miss out due to injury, however, while former Arsenal full-back Emmanuel Eboue looks set to slot back in at right-back at the expense of Sabri Sarioglu, who will drop to the bench.
Schalke are expected to welcome back Klaas-Jan Huntelaar to lead the line, with the Dutch striker having been confined to the sidelines with an eye injury in recent matches. The German side will be without a host of big-name players, however, with Kyriakos Papadopoulos, Atsuto Uchida, Ibrahim Afellay and Ciprian Marica all unable to play in the crunch match.
Fatih Terim: “Schalke are a quality team. They have dangerous players like Christian Fuchs, Benedikt Höwedes, Jefferson Farfán and Michel Bastos. Any victory we get without conceding a goal is an advantage for the second leg. I have faith in my players because the response I’m getting from them is very positive. Schalke are a team who defend aggressively and switch to attack very quickly. There’s a perception that because we have Wesley Sneijder and Didier Drogba we’ll advance to the next round comfortably. Please be aware that both players have not played for a few months.”
Jens Keller: “We have analysed them closely and know how to overcome them. As I’ve said before, we have come here to get a good result. I’m also very excited because it will be my first match in the UEFA Champions League as a coach. Our initial target was reaching the round of 16; now we are targeting the quarter-finals. Michel Bastos is a key player for us, he featured in the last World Cup. Max Meyer is very determined and he’ll have a place in the team tomorrow.”
Galatsaray vs Schalke Champions League last 16 first leg match facts
This is the first ever competitive meeting between Galatasaray and Schalke.
Schalke are one of four teams unbeaten in the Champions League this season with Borussia Dotrmund, Juventus and Malaga.
Galatasaray hadn’t reached the knockout stages of the Champions League since 2000/01 when they were knocked out by Real Madrid in the quarter-finals.
Schalke have reached the knockout stages of the Champions League for the third time after 2007/08 and 2010/11.
Galatasaray have won their last three Champions League games. They have never won four on the bounce in the competition.
Galatasaray have won none of their last five home games against German opposition (two defeats, three draws).
Schalke are unbeaten against Turkish opposition (two wins, two draws).
Schalke’s two away games in Turkey have both ended in a 3-3 scoreline, against Trabzonspor in October 1996 (UEFA Cup) and Fenerbahce in October 2005 (Champions League).
Galatasaray have scored only seven goals in six Champions League games this season, the joint-lowest among the 16 teams qualified for the knockout stages.
Galatasaray struck the woodwork more times than any other team in the group stages this season (6).
13 of the 17 goals scored by Galatasaray and Schalke combined in the group stages came in the second-half.
Burak Yilmaz scored six of Galatsaray’s seven goals in the group stages this season. He was the joint-top scorer in the group phase with Cristiano Ronaldo.
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar has scored four goals in five starts in the Champions League this season.
Didier Drogba has scored 39 goals in the Champions League, only Lionel Messi (56) and Cristiano Ronaldo (44) have been more prolific among current players in the competition. He’s netted seven goals and delivered two assists in his last nine CL games.