Galatasaray of Turkey will host England’s Manchester United on Tuesday November 20 in a Champions League match at the Turk Telekom Arena in Istanbul. Galatasaray is in second place at the moment in Group H with four points from a win, a draw and two losses, and are level with Cluj of Romania. United has won all four of their games so far in the group and has already clinched first place in it.
The latest odds on this match from sportsbook William Hill show a Galatasaray win at 10/11 with a Manchester United victory at 11/4 and a draw also at 11/4. Expect many special promos for this game.
With United taking first place already you can be sure that some players will be rested by manager Alex Ferguson. This means striker Robin van Persie likely won’t play while Wayne Rooney could also miss the trip. Captain and defender Nemanja Vidic is still on the sidelines with an injury and Japanese star Shinji Kagawa is also out with an injury. Expect Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Antonio Valencia, Rio Ferdinand, and goalkeeper David De Gea to also be left at home in England. Meanwhile winger Nani is still out with a hamstring problem, but Phil Jones should play for the first time this season as a starter after returning from injury on the weekend.
Both of these teams are going into the game after losses in their domestic leagues on the weekend. Galatasaray was beaten at home 3-1 by Kardemir Karabük while Man United were humbled 1-0 away to Norwich and fell out of first place in the English Premier League. They now trail Manchester City by one point after their cross town neighbours hammered Aston Villa 5-0 at home.
Galatasaray manager Fatih Terim has a healthy squad to choose from so that will definitely be a bonus for the Turkish side. However, defender Tomas Ujfalusi is still a long-term injury and has been out of the squad since August. Johan Elmander returned to the team on the weekend and will likely start on the sub’s bench.
United defenders will have to keep their eyes on Burak Yilmaz as he has scored all four of Galatasaray’s Champions League goals this season. If he’s having a bad game then his side might be in deep trouble. United has nine goals in their four group games and four of those have been scored during the final 15 minutes of games. United managed to beat Galatasaray 1-0 earlier in the season with midfielder Michael Carrick scoring a rare goal. When these two teams played each other the last time in Turkey it was back all the way in 1993 and the match ended in a 0-0 stalemate. It was a bad result for United though as it knocked them out of the Champions League.
In their last five contests overall, Galatasaray has three wins, a draw and a loss while United has three wins and two losses. The Turkish club is probably glad United doesn’t really have anything to play for, but this means the English club could be more relaxed and be a handful. Galatsaray needs the points badly, so expect them to come out of the game with a draw or win.