Galatasaray out for a surprise against Real
Galatasaray, the only Turkish team in Europe’s top-tier competition, will be seeking its maiden win in the tournament. Still, it also needs to score its debut goal in the tournament this year in the absence of its Colombian striker Radamel Falcao, who has suffered a serious injury short after his arrival in Istanbul at the start of the season.
Falcao will be treated in Spain until Nov. 11, club doctors have said.
Their last goal was scored by Swiss forward Eren Derdiyok against Portugal’s team Porto, when the Azuis e brancos (Blue and whites) defeated Istanbul’s yellow-red club 3-2 in Istanbul in November 2018.
A victory would put Real Madrid within touching distance of qualification.
Real’s Eden Hazard is beginning to show glimpses of his best form and it cannot come soon enough for the Galacticos.
“Everyone wants to see Eden playing better,” Real Madrid coach Zinédine Zidane said last week. “But I see him getting much better every day. He will get there in the end for sure.”
Madrid’s goalless draw against Betis on Nov. 2 shows why Hazard’s crescendo must find its climax, and quickly, if Zidane’s team is to avoid the same problems up front that proved their undoing last season.
Despite the best efforts of Benzema in recent months, the void left by Cristiano Ronaldo is still to be filled and although Hazard has never been a prolific scorer, he can contribute and enhance the numbers of others.
In the other match of Group A, the leader will host Belgium’s Club Brugge at Parc des Princes.
Elsewhere, defending champion Liverpool will play against Belgian side Genk at home on Nov. 5. The British side is in second place with six points, while Italian team Napoli is on the top with seven points in group E.
Still on Nov. 6, last year’s runner-up Tottenham Hotspur will face Serbia’s Crvena Zvezda at Belgrade’s Rajko Mitic Stadium. The Lilywhites are in second place with four points, while the Serbian side is on the third spot with three points.