Lions hope to avoid giants in CL draws

Lions hope to avoid giants in CL draws

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Lions hope to avoid giants in CL draws

Burak Yılmaz scored six goals in the Champions League to be named the top player of the group stage. AA photo

Galatasaray will find out its opponent in the Champions League knockout stage as the top-level European competition draws will be made today in Nyon, Switzerland.

The Turkish titleholder finished in the second spot of its Champions League Group H, thanks to six goals from Burak Yılmaz, who was voted the top player of the group stage by earlier this week. Galatasaray finished behind Manchester United, and in the knockout rounds it will be pitted against any other group leader besides the English giant.

Barcelona looks to be the team to avoid for Galatasaray, and last season’s runner-up Bayern Munich will not be an easy task either.

Also on the bill for the Lions are France’s big spenders Paris Saint-Germain, who boast the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva, Italian champion Juventus and German titleholder Borussia Dortmund. For many Galatasaray fans, the most-wanted rivals will be Spanish Malaga and German Schalke 04.

When asked who he would want in the draw, coach Fatih Terim admitted that any other team would want Galatasaray in the draw, while similar runners-up will wish to avoid Barcelona.

“Ask any of the eight teams and they will say, ‘We don’t want Barça,’” Terim told NTVSpor late Dec. 5, after beating Braga 2-1 to qualify for the knockouts. “But nobody should expect us to back down against any opponent.”