Galatasaray - CFR Cluj Preview: Fatih Terim's side look to kick-start their European campaign
The Turkish giants are yet to pick up a point in the competition so far, while the Romanian outfit can take a big step towards qualification if they secure a result in Istanbul
By Alec Fenn
Eboue, Kaya, Nouneko, Riera
Amrabat, Inan, Melo, Colak
Sepsi, Cadu, Rada, Pinto
Sougou, Aguirregaray, Muresan, Camora
If you could purchase confidence by the bottle then both Galatasaray and CFR Cluj would have bought vast quantities several weeks ago.
The pair head into Tuesday’s Champions League encounter with confidence at rock-bottom, as they endure runs of form not normally associated with polished European performers.
The two teams hold identical and unenviable records of three defeats and two draws from their last five games in all competitions and will no doubt look upon one another as the perfect opportunity to turn their respective fortunes around.
Historically, the Turk Telekom Arena is one of the continent’s most intimidating venues, but that did not stop Braga from walking away with a shock 2-0 victory in the last round of fixtures in Group H and perhaps make Cluj’s trip to Turkey at least a little less daunting.
The Romanian outfit were impressive in their first away trip of the group stages, beating Braga 2-0 and as they sit in second place in the group ahead of the contest, they will have fewer better chances of reaching the knockout stages than this year.
Gala will be without Tomas Ujfalusi with knee ligament damage, while Burak Yilmaz, Hakan Balta and Selcuk Inan are all doubts. Cluj travel to Istanbul with a clean bill of health.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Fatih Terim’s Galatasaray side are on their worst run of form since March/April last season and are without a win in four games.
- The Turkish giants will be hoping fatigue does not play a part on Tuesday – 13 of their squad were away on international duty last week.
Brazilian midfielder Felipe Melo is one yellow card away from triggering a suspension.
- Gala's only European success came when they lifted the 2001 Uefa and Super Cups, while CFR Cluj were runners-up in the 2005 Intertoto Cup.
- 2012-2013 is only the third time CFR Cluj have participated in the Champions League.
Ioan Andone's side are seeking a fourth straight away victory in the competition, having beaten Slovan Liberec and Basel in qualifying and Braga on matchday one.
Tuesday will be the first ever meeting between the two sides and the Romanian outfit’s maiden clash against Turkish opposition.
|Sign up with William Hill for a free bet up to £25|
|Sign up with bet365 for a free bet up to £200|
|Sign up to Paddy Power for £250 in free bets|
|Sign up today with Coral and get a £50 FREE bet - no strings attached!|
|Sign up today with BetVictor and get a £25 FREE BET!|
|Sign up with Betway for a £50 free bet!|
Top 3 Predictions
Galatasaray 2-0 CFR Cluj
- 16.71 %
Galatasaray 2-1 CFR Cluj
- 13.41 %
Galatasaray 3-1 CFR Cluj
- 10.12 %
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||7 Nov 2012||CFR Cluj 1 - Galatasaray 3|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||23 Oct 2012||Galatasaray 1 - CFR Cluj 1|
|1 Dec 2013||Kasımpaşaspor 1 - Galatasaray 1||TUR1|
|27 Nov 2013||Real Madrid 4 - Galatasaray 1||UCL|
|23 Nov 2013||Galatasaray 2 - Sivasspor 1||TUR1|
|10 Nov 2013||Fenerbahçe 2 - Galatasaray 0||TUR1|
|5 Nov 2013||Copenhagen 1 - Galatasaray 0||UCL|
|-||Néstor Muslera Micol||Goalkeeper|