Galatasaray seeks home win to keep Euro dreams alive
The Istanbul club’s Champions League ambitions are over for another season, while it can still continues in the Europa League by finishing third in Group A, in which it currently sits at the bottom.
Club Brugge’s hopes of prolonging its campaign into the knockout rounds meanwhile hang by a thread as the teams need a victory to keep its hopes alive.
The sides’ goalless draw in Belgium in the season opener represents Galatasaray’s only point in this season’s competition, leaving it fourth in the group and unable to finish in the top two.
Club Brugge have two points and are in third position, although defeats by group leader Paris Saint-Germain in its last two fixtures have left the club five points adrift of second-placed Real Madrid.
The Belgian side must therefore win in Istanbul and hope Madrid fails to beat Paris at home to keep alive its round of 16 ambitions; Club Brugge will be confirmed in third position if it and Madrid both win on Nov. 26.
Galatasaray, meanwhile, is on a 11-game winless streak in the Champions League, and it has only won twice in its last 30 games on the European stage.
The club sits in the eighth spot in the Turkish Süper Lig standings following a 1-0 loss at Başakşehir on Nov. 22, and coach Fatih Terim started to feel the pressure.
“We won back-to-back league titles, we won many cups, but I don’t like hearing ‘no problem if we don’t win this season,’” he told reporters after the Başakşehir loss.
“I don’t like those who accept losing. Such people have never had a place around me, and they will never have. When you win, you must want to win more.”
Also on Nov. 26, Tottenham, which turned to Jose Mourinho to try and maintain its status as a Champions League club, takes on Olympiacos at home.
Victory over Olympiakos in Mourinho’s home debut will secure the club’s passage into the knockout stages.
“I think we can go and win that match at home and qualify in the Champions League,” said Mourinho, who has a proud record of always qualifying from the Champions League group stages in spells as Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and Manchester United.
Mourinho labelled himself “humble” on his return to management after 11 months out of the game last week, but was quick to point out in his first media briefing that, unlike Tottenham, he had never lost a Champions League final.
He has lifted the trophy twice, with Porto and Inter, but the second of those successes came 10 seasons ago and there are questions over whether he is still the man to deliver a Champions League glory.
The 56-year-old has failed to win a single knockout tie in the Champions League over the past five years.