Galatasaray to face Schalke 04 in Champions League
The match will kick off at 11 p.m. Turkish time at Schalke’s Arena AufSchalke-Gelsenkirchen Stadium.
The goalless draw in Istanbul left Schalke on five points, one ahead of its Turkish opponent and two behind section leader Porto.
Lokomotiv has lost all three matches so far and will be eliminated if it suffers a fourth defeat and there is a winner at the Arena; if Loko draws at Porto and Schalke wins, the Russian club will also be unable to reach the round of 16.
Galatasaray is going to the Schaşlke game following a 2-2 home draw at home in the league against archrival Fenerbahçe on Nov. 2 in a league game.
The game was played in a tense atmosphere and both sides on Nov. 4 claimed to be the aggrieved party after a fractious derby ended in nine cards and a mass brawl extraordinary even by the combustible standards of Turkish football.
Referee Fırat Aydınus had already handed out five yellow cards when he blew the whistle on the critical match.
The players then approached the center circle to shake hands but rather than greeting each other a mass brawl erupted with officials from both sides and substitutes rushing onto the pitch to get involved.
After the fight, the referee sent off three players and handed out another yellow card. But there was no sign of contrition from either side after the confrontation.
Galatasaray issued a statement slamming the referee, saying that “some referees have a habit of making mistakes concerning the same team” and warning against “referees who provoke with their actions.”
Fenerbahçe, meanwhile, outlined five instances, complete with video evidence, where it said it had been the victim.
It called on the Turkish Football Federation (TFF), whose disciplinary committee is now expected to announce harsh sanctions for both clubs, “to look at every club and player as equal and not privilege anyone.”
The game was of critical importance for both sides.
Fenerbahçe is looking to resurrect its season after a dire start that saw the team sack Dutch coach Phillip Cocu and languish just above the relegation zone in 15th.
Galatasaray is in second but four points behind leader Başakşehir.
Four wins out of four, including a stroll past Inter Milan and a hammering of Real Madrid so severe it cost the club coach his job, mean Messi reunites with a team enjoying its strongest run of the season, ironically without its star striker.
Barça will certainly be delighted, relieved even, when his recovery is complete. The club has named Messi in its squad for the match at the San Siro, even if he is yet to be given the medical all-clear.
It could be his involvement is either as a substitute or even delayed until the weekend, when Barça hosts Real Betis in La Liga.
Perhaps it will depend on how much Barça needs him and, in that respect, Messi’s absence has been less pronounced than many predicted 15 days ago when he tumbled and broke his right arm against Sevilla.