Galatasaray ready to host Dortmund locked in horror form
ISTANBUL – Agence France-PresseEncouraged by a derby win over the weekend, Galatarasaray is ready to host Germany’s Borussia Dortmund in a nightmarish Bundesliga form when the Group D leaders protect their perfect Champions League record.
Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp described his side’s 3-0 win at Anderlecht earlier this month as “perfect,” but things are far from rosy now for Borussia after three straight Bundesliga defeats.
With just a point from their first two European games, Galatasaray is third in the group and face Dortmund with the Germans low on confidence despite topping the Champions League group.
The 2013 Champions League finalists have plummeted to 14th in the Bundesliga table - their worst league start for 27 years.
Klopp admitted to feeling “helpless” in the wake of Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Cologne, their first defeat in the city for more than a decade, to leave them with just a point from their last five league games.
“We have to correct our mistakes now, not tomorrow or the day after,” fumed Klopp.
“We need to get ourselves out of this rut and no one will do it for us.”
Having beaten Arsenal 2-0 in their opening game, Klopp’s side have yet to concede a goal in the competition and have been boosted by the return to fitness of three key players.
They have Germany midfielders Marco Reus and İlkay Gündoğan, as well as Armenia’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan back after injuries.
Reus managed more shots on goal than the entire Cologne team combined and finishing is a factor for Dortmund in Turkey.
Galatasaray lost 4-1 at Arsenal three weeks ago and need a result at home against Dortmund to keep their knock-out stage hopes alive.
With Didier Drogba now back at Chelsea, Galatasaray’s top name is Wesley Sneijder and the Dutch midfielder scored two late goals as Cesare Prandelli’s side beat ten-man Fenerbahce 2-1 on Ocvt. 18 in the Istanbul derby.
“Sneijder is a quality footballer who showed up well in the last 20 minutes and gave us two very nice goals,” said Prandelli.
With Arsene Wenger struggling to explain Arsenal’s underwhelming start to the season, the north London club will hope for a boost Oct. 22 when they make the short trip to face Anderlecht in the Champions League.
Arsenal go to Brussels knowing they must improve upon their showing against Hull City in the Premier League on Oct. 18, when they required a last-minute Danny Welbeck equalizer just to earn a 2-2 draw.
Arsenal got off to a bad start in Group D, but they bounced back in convincing fashion in their last match, thumping Galatasaray 4-1 at the Emirates Stadium, with Welbeck scoring a hat-trick.
The meeting of Liverpool and Real Madrid, who have 15 European Cups between them, is the pick of the games on Oct. 22 in the Champions League.
Liverpool beat Madrid 1-0 in the 1981 final and then triumphed 5-0 on aggregate in the group stage in 2008-09. However, while Real are the reigning European champions, Liverpool are adapting to the competition again after a five-year absence.
Brendan Rodgers’s side are under pressure to perform after a lame 1-0 defeat at Basel last time out, but they will need to defend better than they did in beating Queens Park Rangers 3-2 in the Premier League on Oct. 19.