Galatasaray vs Schalke 04 Preview Feb. 20

by Punter's Hero on February 20, 2013

in Football, Latest News

Turkish side Galatasaray will be hosting German Bundesliga club Schalke 04 at the Turk Telekom Arena in Istanbul on Wed. Feb. 20 in the first leg of their European Champions League last-16 matchup. It looks like former Chelsea hero Didier Drogba may be playing for the Turkish side after scoring in his debut for them on Friday in the Turkish Super Lig.

The 34-year-old striker scored the deciding penalty kick in the cup final last season against Bayern Munich in Germany. He joined Galatasaray in the January transfer window after leaving Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua. The team also signed another major star last month in Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder as he came over from Inter Milan .

Galatasaray manager Fatih Terim said Drogba and Sneijder are huge additions to his club and should help out immensely for the rest of the Champions League tournament. He said they have both fit in well with their teammates quite quickly and are anxious to help them out in the competition. They should have a lot of confidence going into the game knowing that Schalke has been struggling mightily lately with just a single victory in their past five games.

Schalke players said they respect Galatasaray a great deal, but they’re not afraid of them. They should get a major boost if Klaas Jan Huntelaar can join the team for the game. The Dutch striker has been suffering from an eye injury and leads the club with four Champions League goals. Without Huntelaar the team will be at a real disadvantage, so his presence should boost the team’s confidence.

However, Schalke looks like they’ll have to play without the services of Kyriakos Papadopoulos, Ciprian Marica, Ibrahim Afellay, and Atsuto Uchida. Galatasaray also have some injuries with Johan Elmander and Tomas Ujfalusi set to miss the contest. However, right-back Emmanuel Eboue may be back in the team. Schalke will definitely have to keep their eye on Burak Yilmaz since he has scored six goals for Galatasaray in the Champions League so far this season. If the German side can keep him off of the score sheet then they’ll have a great chance of pulling out a draw or win.

Schalke may not be playing too well in the league at the moment, but they haven’t lost a Champions League game since Manchester United beat them at Old Trafford back in the 2010-11 CL season. They’ve managed just one win in the 2013 calendar year which came on Jan. 18 when they beat Hannover 5-4 at home. Michel Bastos has been one of their best players lately and has three goals in three matches since he joined the club in the January transfer window from French side Olympique Lyonnais.

This should be quite an intriguing match, but with Sneijder and Drogba helping out it looks like the home side should be able to earn all three points against a weakened Schalke team.

Sportsbook William Hill has the latest odds of a Galatasaray win at 5/4 with a Schalke victory at 23/10 and a draw at 11/5.

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