The Champions League returns this week, as Real Madrid travel to Turkey for their encounter with Galatasaray.
Real Madrid will face Galatasaray in the third round of UEFA Champions League’s group stage tomorrow evening, in a game which is a must-win for the 13-times European champions.
Their trip to Istanbul comes after an unexpected 1-0 defeat to Mallorca last weekend, a result which saw Zinedine Zidane’s side losing the top spot on La Liga’s table.
The Whites are yet to register their first win in the most elite football competition this season, as they’ve hit the rock bottom in Group A with only one point from the opening two games.
— Galatasaray SK (@GalatasaraySK) October 20, 2019
They suffered a humiliating 3-0 defeat at Paris Saint-Germain in the opener and saved a point through Casemiro’s late striker, coming back from a two-goal deficit against Club Brugge in the previous round.
Galatasary is in the same position as Real Madrid, with just one point on their account – a 0-0 draw in Bruges back in September.
They host the most decorated side in the competition on the back of a 3-2 victory over Sivasspor in the Turkish Super Lig over the weekend, ending their five-game streak without a win across all competitions.
Colombian striker Radamel Falcao is most likely to miss the Champions League clash with Real Madrid, as he is struggling with an Achilles issue over the past three weeks.
Mario Lemina is also a huge doubt for Fatih Terim’s side, while Emre Akbaba, who broke his leg back in May, is definitely out.
The visitors are dealing with an injury crisis, with Gareth Bale, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos among those on the treatment table.
They will be boosted by the return of Belgian winger Eden Hazard, however, who also missed the trip to Mallorca back on Saturday evening.
Stats (via UEFA)
Six years ago Real Madrid recorded their first victory in Istanbul, on their fourth visit and in their third away game at Galatasaray. The final score of the game was 6-1 in favor of the Whites, as Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick.
The teams had also met in the 2012/13 quarter-finals, Benzema scoring in a 3-0 win for Madrid in the home first leg; the Spanish side held on to progress despite a 3-2 second-leg defeat in Istanbul.
Galatasaray have won only one of their last 17 European encounters (6D 10L) – a 3-0 victory over Lokomotiv Moskva in the 2018-19 campaign.
— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) October 21, 2019
Real Madrid have lost three of their last five UEFA Champions League matches – conceding three or more goals in each of those defeats, and 13 in that five-game sequence.
Galatasaray’s most recent fixtures with Spanish opponents came in the 2015/16 UEFA Champions League group stage, when they lost 2-0 both home and away to Real Madrid’s local rivals Atletico.
The Whites’ three-game run without a European victory is their longest sequence without a success since two draws and a defeat in October-November 2012. They last failed to win four successive matches during a five-game winless run between November 2005 and September 2006.