Five months and a few days after clashing in the quarter-finals of the 2012/13 UEFA Champions League, Galatasaray and Real Madrid will meet again. What happened the last time Los Blancos played in Istanbul was breath-taking. Despite being 3-0 down from the first leg, hosts Galatasaray put up a strong fight in the return leg and nearly made Real Madrid pay for being complacent.
Emmanuel Eboue, Wesley Sneijder and Didier Drogba scored wonder goals and would have pushed the game into extra-time if it wasn’t for Cristiano Ronaldo’s heroic performance on the night. The Portuguese star netted a brace to fire Real Madrid in the semis but Galatasaray – with that 3-2 win – bowed out of the competition with their heads held high.
Expect the Yellow-Reds to showcase their relentlessness yet again, although tonight’s circumstances appear to be very different from the April 9th encounter. Group B is tough; it is this season’s UEFA Champions League group of death with Serie A's Scudetto champions Juventus also in it.
Both Gala and Real Madrid are looking to kick-off their campaign on a high. Looking at previous results, the Turkish giants are favourites to claim all three points tonight. Can they make it three out of three on home soil against Los Blancos?
Once again, Real Madrid’s defence will surely be put to the test. Despite all his acrobatic saves, Diego Lopez could not prevent his side from dropping two points in a 2-2 draw away to Villarreal last Saturday. As coach Carlo Ancelotti confirmed, Iker Casillas will be in post at the Türk Telekom Arena. He will need to avoid conceding three goals like it happened on each of Real Madrid’s two visits to Galatasaray in the past 12 years.
Some of the interesting matchups this Tuesday include Bruma’s duel against fellow countryman Cristiano Ronaldo. Both are Sporting Lisbon products. Of course, the spotlight will also be on Gareth Bale. It is for opportunities like these that the Welshman left UEFA Europa League contenders Tottenham Hotspur for nine-time European champions Real Madrid.
Galatasaray vs Real Madrid comes at the right time for the visitors who welcomed the good news of Cristiano Ronaldo’s contract renewal last Sunday. However, the absence of Mesut Özil (widely adored in his country of origins) might only do one thing: give a reason to Turkish supporters to be more hostile against the entire Madrid squad.
Watch Galatasaray vs Real Madrid live on Tuesday, September 17, 2013:
Internationally at 18:45 GMT on: UEFA Match Centre (online)
All over the world, this UEFA Champions League Group B game will be widely followed live online, on television and on radio. Check out LiveSoccerTV’s Galatasaray-Real Madrid match page for full live stream and TV listings. We will also bring you all the goals and bookings through our live scores feature on the home page. Stay tuned!