Champions League: Manchester United v Galatasaray match preview


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The Independent Football

After last season’s disappointing exit in the group stage, Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester United have a point to prove in the Champions League.

Ferguson is bidding to win his third Champions League title, a feat that would see him match Bob Paisley’s haul with Liverpool. Galatasaray make a return to the competition after a six-year absence and will be hoping to emulate the achievement of their side in 1993 who drew 3-3 at Old Trafford and eventually progressed into the next round on away goals.

Kick-off: 19:45

TV: Sky Sports 4

Previous meetings

20/10/1993 – Man Utd 3-3 Galatasaray (Pallister  2, Şükür  13 (o.g.), Arif  16, Türkyilmaz  31', 63, Cantona  81)

03/11/1993 – Galatasaray 0-0 Man Utd

28/09/1994 – Galatasaray 0-0 Man Utd

07/12/1994 – Man Utd 4-0 Galatasaray (Davies  3, Beckham  38, Keane  49, Bülent  88 (o.g.))

Team news

Shinji Kagawa has recovered from the knock that kept him out of Saturday’s game against Wigan and should return, while David De Gea and Patrice Evra could also earn a recall to the first team. Robin van Persie should also play a part but Wayne Rooney and Ashley Young look set to miss out due to thigh and knee injuries respectively. Phil Jones’ knee and Chris Smalling’s metatarsal injuries mean they are still long term absentees in defence.

Galatasaray will be without Tomas Ujfalusi, the Czech defender is a long term concern after suffering a cruciate ligament injury. Former Bolton forward Johan Elmander looks set to feature however on his return to the north of England, despite sustaining a knock at the weekend.

Key players

Manchester United: Robin Van Persie – After his high-profile departure from Arsenal, there is understandably pressure on Van Persie to replicate his form from last season, and having been rested for the weekend’s game against Wigan, he will be expected to perform against Galatasaray. A potential match-up against former Arsenal teammate Emmanuel Eboue could be an interesting sideshow.

Galatasaray: Selçuk Inan – Although not hugely well known outside of Turkey, Inan is the star of the Galatasaray midfield. Last season’s Player of the Year in Turkey’s Super Lig and provider of the most assists, the 27-year-old is a creative midfielder, ironically just the sort that many think Manchester United are lacking. If given too much time and space, his playmaking ability could pose a real problem for the hosts.  

Match facts

Manchester Utd are playing in the Champions League for the 17th consecutive season, the longest current run.

United have lost only two of their last 56 Champions League games at home.

The two Champions League encounters between United and Galatasaray at Old Trafford have produced 10 goals.

Galatasaray are taking part in their 11th Champions League campaign, the most among Turkish sides. Their last participation dated back to 2006/07.