The UEFA Champions League returns as former champions Real Madrid travel to Turkey to face Super Liga champions Galatasaray with the aim of finally banishing the ghost of Nigeria’s Emmanuel Dennis’ goals.
The Super Eagles youngster scored twice at the Santiago Bernabeu on match day 2 to help Club Brugge claim a shocking 2-2 a fortnight ago, to condemn Zinedine Zidane’s side to their worst ever start to a Champions League group stage. Los Blancos however have a chance to put their European campaign back on track as the most successful club in Europe hunt for their first maximum points of the season in Turkey.
The Spanish giants lost at PSG on match day one. As a result, Real are currently sitting at the bottom of Group A having taken just 1 point from their opening 2 games.
However, Real will be optimistic going into their double header with Galatasaray as Tuesday’s foes have also only managed to take just 1 point from their first 2 Group A games of the 2019/20 campaign. Galatasaray are currently only above Real Madrid on the group A table due to goal difference.
Real Madrid will be cautious, though, as Los Blancos did not have the best of preparations for this encounter having suffered their first league loss of the season at Mallorca on Saturday.
Galatasaray are sweating on the fitness of a number of key players, including former Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao. Sofiane Feghouli is also in a race against time to prove his fitness.
Emre Mor and Florin Andone performed well in Feghouli and Andone’s respective places in the weekend and may be called upon from the start on Tuesday.
Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane has real problems ahead of Tuesday’s trip to Turkey. Thibaut Courtois’ form in goal remains an issue, while Gareth Bale and Lucas Vazquez’s absence leaves them short of natural alternatives on the right.
Isco, James Rodriguez and Luka Jovic are all under performing to add to Zidane’s woes and he may have to start at least two of those players given the players unavailable for Madrid heading into Tuesday’s crucial Champions League match.
Eden Hazard, Dani Carvajal and Raphael Varane will all return to the starting XI in midweek and Toni Kroos is also available after recovering from a muscle strain.
Given Jovic’s struggles, Hazard may be asked to play up front with Vinícius Júnior on the left. Rodriguez may be given another chance to impress, albeit from the right.
There have been over 2.5 goals scored in 33 of Real Madrid’s last 36 games (UEFA Champions League).
Galatasaray have seen over 2.5 goals in their last 8 matches against Real Madrid in all competitions.
Real Madrid have scored at least 2 goals in their last 8 matches against Galatasaray in all competitions.
Galatasaray have failed to score in 6 of their last 7 UEFA Champions League).
There have often been plenty of goals scored historically when these two teams have met. There have been over 2.5 goals scored in each of the last 8 meetings between these two sides. Real Madrid have also scored at least 2 goals in their last 8 games versus Galatasaray.
Tip: Over 2.5 Goals.