Galatasaray S.K. has become quite the dark horse for the UEFA Champions League this season but are they the real deal? Pitted against Real Madrid in the quarter finals of this season’s competition will provide them with a much sterner test as they look to upset Mourinho’s men. This is only the second time the Cimbom have reached this stage of the competition with the first coming back in 2001. Knocking out Schalke 04 in the last sixteen has opened up a mouth watering tie against Los Blancos.
Can they continue their exceptional European form this season? Is this as good as it gets? Well with an attacking trio of Wesley Sneijder, Didier Drogba and Burak Yilmaz the Cimbom have, on their day a talented force that cannot be underestimated. Yilmaz is joint top scorer in the Champions League this season. As we reach the business end of the season, Galatasaray sit four points clear of fierce rivals Fenerbahce and seven points clear of Besiktas. Galatasaray have found joy playing away from home in Europe this season winning three of their last 4 which shows the side’s resilience on their travels.
This seasons Champions League campaign started off without a win in the first three games. Loosing away to Manchester United and at home to Portuguese outfit Braga spelled a disastrous start to a campaign where qualification was more than a viable option. A score draw against CFR Cluj in their second home game of the group, signalled, what most thought, would be an early exit from the competition. However their fortunes changed with three wins from three which shot them into 2nd place in the group behind Manchester United. Thanks to 27 year old Burak Yilmaz who has amassed 8 European goals this season which makes him joint top goalscorer with Cristiano Ronaldo, Gala have become a force to be reckoned with after being undefeated in their last 6 Champions League games, their longest unbeaten streak in Gala’s Champions League history.
International quality at home and across the continent has formed this Turkish side into a potentially lethal outfit. Real Madrid will know not to underestimate Gala and their partisan fan base at the Turk Telecom Arena otherwise it could be curtains for the second favourites, who are backed at 13/5 to win the competition with Boylesports. With passion flooding from the terraces to the pitch, can this shrewdly put together side knock out Mourinho’s men? With only 3 Champions League wins in the last 9 at home, Gala will be hoping their solid away form in this season’s competition helps their cause in knocking out Madrid.
Fatih Terim will have his side well organised for the trip to Madrid on the 3rd April and will be hoping to bring a result home for their fans and players to really get stuck into when they face Madrid at home on the 9th April. Time will tell if this side has reached their peak but the optimists amongst us will be hoping this side has a little left in the tank when they take on Ronaldo and co.
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