Real Madrid will be looking to finish the Gala job when they travel to the Turk Telekom Arena tonight. Fatih Terim and his boys will be looking to salvage some pride at least. A three goal deficit against a great team like Real Madrid is impossible to overcome. Although, impossible is nothing.
They could borrow a leaf from the phenomenal Depor side under Javier Irueta who came from 4-1 down to dismantle an A.C Milan team comprising of Andrea Pirlo, Kaka, Seedorf, Sheva, etc by four unreplied goals at the famous RIAZOR stadium in La Coruna. Juan Carlos Valeron ran the show that day. A repeat of that performance is highly unlikely.
Meanwhile, Malaga and bereaved manager, Manuel Pellegrini travel to Dortmund with the sole aim of trying to qualify for the semi-finals. The Iduna will be made very uncomfortable for the Boquerones. Tomorrow, Paris St Germain travel to the Camp Nou, while Bayern Munich visit the home of the Old Lady of Italian football to complete the demolition job. Conte awaits their arrival.
The excellent Manuel Pellegrini is grief-stricken. The Chilean had to travel home over the weekend to be with his family as a result of the death of his father. It was looking increasingly unlikely that the Leader of the Malaga orchestra will be available for the biggest match of their history yet.
The Champions League quarter-final 2nd leg v Jurgen Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund who couldn’t find the net at the Rosaleda despite having many scoring chances. The Borussens relinquished their status as German Champions to Bayern Munich at the weekend and will be looking to get to the semi-finals in what has been a near impeccable Eurpean adventure. The 1997 European champions will rely on the firepower of Robert Lewandowski to guide them past Joaquin’s Malaga.
The Andalusians also have Francisco “Isco” Alarcon to count on when the going gets tough. Julio’ the beast’ Baptista can also turn things around on his day. Labista Sevilla was marvellous at times in his career and can make things happen when it matters most.
Pellegrini is aware of the importance of the away goals rule and has underlined his ambition to take the game to Dortmund from start to finish. It can get all messy for the host if the first half ends scoreless. Pressure will begin to mount and they can buckle.
Defensive rock, Mats Hummels and the energetic Kuba are doubts for this game. Not that it really matters as Klopp has alternatives to choose from.
Weidenfeller, Piszczek, Santana/Hummels, Subotic, Schmelzer, Kehl, Gundogan, Reus, Gotze, Kuba/Groskreutz, LEWANDOWSKI.
Polish predator, Lewandowski, came of the bench to score in his 10th successive Bundesliga game at the weekend and will be looking to add to his 5 Champions League goals this term. Gotze has missed far too many chances in the last two games. He will also be determined to make amends for the number of chances that went begging in the first leg.
Marco ‘Rolls’ Reus should be feared as always. He rarely puts a foot wrong and his partnership with the diminutive Gotze is one of the deadliest in world football.
Caballero, Jesus Garmez, Lugano, Demichelis, Artunes, Toulalan, Iggy Camacho, ISCO, Joaquin, Baptista, Saviola.
Los Boquerones will be without Weligton, who has been a rock in the center of defence and Midfield linchpin, Manuel Iturra whose play complements Toulalan’s. Huge losses. But ISCO is fit and set to roar.
GALATASARAY – REAL MADRID
Selcuk Inan was overshadowed and outplayed by Xabi Alonso in the battle of the World’s finest Deep lying playmakers at the Bernabeu. He wouldn’t want to be dominated in his own home, even though Alonso is suspended for the game. Luka Modric is also a fantastic footballer and can compete with the very best in the business.
Didier Drogba made his presence felt at the weekend with two fine goals in league play, but has done nothing for Gala in the European scene. If not for anything, he should at least chip in with a goal tonight.
Real Madrid will know better than to sleep on this game. If recent capitulations by A.C Milan are anything to go by, then ‘never’ is a word meant for the lame and tame-hearted. Fatih Terim will throw all that he possesses at the Merengues tonight for what it’s worth.
Jose Mourinho will not be able to call upon Roja Centurions, Alonso and Sergio Ramos tonight due to suspension. Pepe is a doubt after pulling up in training. French teenager, Varane is a certain starter and could be joined in central defence by the much maligned Raul Albiol if the Portuguese defender cannot shake off whatever ails him.
Cristiano Ronaldo is the UCL top scorer with 9 and can add to his tally tonight to stretch his lead at the top of the chart over Messi and the suspended Burak Yilmaz who have 8 a piece.
Muslera, Eboue, Balta, Kaya, Riera, Inan, Melo, Altintop, Sneijder, DROGBA, Elmander
The crushing blow for the Turkish League leaders is that top scorer, Burak Yilmaz is unavailable for this game due to suspension. Somewhat needless and stupid. The Norwegian referee (Svein Oddvar Moen) in charge of the match at the Bernabeu wrongly booked the marksman for diving when indeed it should have been a penalty.
Dany Nounkeu is also out. Too many yellows accumulated by the central defender. Hakan Balta takes his place.
Diego Lopez, Arbeloa/Essien, Pepe/Albiol, Varane Coentrao, Khedira, Modric, Ozil, Di Maria, CR7, Benzema.
The ‘whites’ made 7 changes to the team that spanked Levante on Saturday. Still the 5-1 result flattered Real who only started playing in the final stages of the match. San Iker is back after a 9 week layoff, but cannot unseat Diego Lopez from the goalkeeping position. It will be a travesty of epic proportions if that happens.
The Pipita-Benz centre forward battle might likely be won by the latter. Coentrao is a more disciplined left back and should replace Marcelo in that department. Sami Khedira returns to shore up the midfield, while Luka Modric will get the nod in the absence of Xabi Alonso. Kaka likely to be on the bench yet again even after scoring a goal at the weekend.
The Ozil-Di Maria axis will return to bolster the team.
Written by Ohireime Eboreime
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