Turkish champions Galatasaray have their first real preseason test this Sunday when they host La Liga’s Malaga in a friendly in Izmir.
The match is expected to be tough, as both sides play a quick, physical game where there will be passing, goals and skills throughout the entire 90-plus minutes.
Malaga have let Isco and Joaquin leave the team to new adventures, so they will be missing a bit of creativity in their midfield. However, this team made the quarterfinals of last season’s Champions League with their ability to defend, build, counter and score at will with or without some of their best players. Gala will have their hands full.
This is going to be a good chance to test themselves before a very tough season in Turkey. The quality of their opponents will force them to play near their highest level while simultaneously testing out most of their roster to see who truly deserves a starting spot on this team. Coach Fatih Terim will have his work cut out for him, but his players have the same responsibility.
The game will be live on Gol TV starting at 1:30 p.m. EDT and will be played at Izmir’s Ataturk Stadium. The stadium may nearly be sold out and for good reason — Gala will have the chance to impress their fans on Turkish soil for the first time this preseason. Winning this will be good for everyone on the home side. Losing this will not matter too much on paper, but it will be a bit heartbreaking for the people who had their hopes up.
Burak Yilmaz, Selcuk Inan, Wesley Sneijder, Didier Drogba and Aurelien Chedjou are the players to look out for in Galatasaray colors.
A not-so-fun fact about Yilmaz is that this could be his last game for Gala, as Napoli may be lining up a 20 Million Euro bid for his services. Whether that will happen or not is unknown, but it certainly can happen soon.