Well, if there was ever going to be a big break given to the Turkish champions, it certainly has for tomorrow’s match against Real Madrid. Cristiano Ronaldo will miss the game due to a slight knock he picked up over the weekend in La Liga action. He had scored a hat-trick in the first meeting back in the opening game in Istanbul. Tomorrow, he will be unable to score any.
What does this mean for Madrid? Simple: the rest of the squad will have to step up their efforts even more in order to earn the expected three points against a Galatasaray side who know that they have to be nearly perfect in order to leave the Bernabeu with any amount of points.
Both teams will still boast a decent amount of talent, but it will be who plays the better game by pressing and attacking on all cylinders. On paper, Real already have this one in the bag.
Roberto Mancini will have to find a way to bounce his side back from the dismal 6-1 result they received under the helm of Fatih Terim roughly two months ago. Ever since the Italian took over, he has earned one win, one draw and an unexpected loss in Denmark against FC Copenhagen. His side played decent soccer in all of those games, but he knows that tomorrow will have to be their best outing against the very best side in the group.
Selcuk Inan, Bruma, Burak Yilmaz, Felipe Melo and Didier Drogba all have to be absolutely perfect in a game where they will have the largest influence when it comes to holding the ball and attacking the opposing frame.
Prediction: Real Madrid 3, Galatasaray 1.
The home side will score all three goals on brilliantly planned counter attacks whereas the visitors will get one in due to light defending.
If Gala do happen to lose this and Juventus defeat Copenhagen at home as expected, Gala will have it all to do on the final day as only a victory over the Italians can guarantee a spot in the Round of 16. In addition to that, Copenhagen would have to lose at home to the Spanish giants.