Injury-hit Galatasaray seeks 100th European win against Schalke

Injury-hit Galatasaray seeks 100th European win against Schalke

Injury-hit Galatasaray seeks 100th European win against Schalke

Galatasaray coach Fatih Terim has a lot to think about when his side hosts Bundesliga club Schalke 04 in a Champions League Group D game on Oct. 24 in Istanbul.

Injuries will force the experienced coach to reshape his midfield and forward line-up after defensive midfielder Fernando and attacking midfielder Sofiane Feghouli, along with defender Serdar Aziz, were all forced to leave a 1-1 league draw against Bursaspor on Oct. 9 due to injuries.

Midfielders Henry Onyekuru and Emre Akbaba are also missing due to long-time injuries, while Selçuk İnan and Ryan Donk are just back in training and are both doubtful for the Schalke game.

Terim is expected to start the match with Sinan Gümüş and Eren Derdiyok, hoping that they will rise to the occasion.

Having opened its Group D campaign with an impressive 3-0 defeat of Lokomotiv Moscow at home, Galatasaray’s momentum was checked by a 1-0 loss at Porto in its second fixture, putting it in the third spot with three points behind Porto and Schalke.

Galatasaray will look for a repeat of its last dominant home performance against Schalke as the club also seeks its 100th victory in European competitions.

Galatasaray came out on top when the teams met in the 2012-2013 Champions League round of 16. A 1-1 draw in Istanbul left the tie in the balance, but the Turkish side, coached then, as now, by Terim, progressed to the last eight thanks to a 3-2 success in Gelsenkirchen, Umut Bulut scoring the winner deep into added time.

İnan set up three of Galatasaray’s four goals in that tie, including the one in the home first leg, while goalkeeper Fernando Muslera also played in both legs.

Galatasaray went on to lose to Real Madrid in the quarterfinals.

So far, Galatasaray has played 273 matches in UEFA competitions, winning 99 games and losing 103.

To date, the Champions League has proved elusive for Turkish clubs, with Galatasaray being the only Turkish club to have won the UEFA Cup in the 1999-2000 season and the 2000 UEFA Super Cup.

Also on Oct. 24 in the Champions League, Barcelona will miss the services of its prolific star Lionel Messi when it visits Inter Milan in a Group B match.

Messi fractured his arm in a 4-2 La Liga win against Sevilla over the weekend and was ruled out for at least three weeks.

The Argentinian star will miss five games in La Liga and the Champions League, most crucially next weekend’s “El Clasico” at home to archrival Real Madrid as well as both games against Inter Milan.

“It’s a considerable loss,” said Barça coach Ernesto Valverde of the injury to his club’s all-time top scorer and captain.

“We know what he gives us and what we miss when he is not around. We have to deal with it and we will be prepared. It’s clear that we will notice his absence, but we will cope and we have resources, even though we will be facing some very difficult teams.”

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