While all of the focus will be on Fatih Terim's expensive new signings, Al Hain-Cole thinks that it will be the home side's prolific Turkish striker who will fire them to victoryWhile most neutrals will be tuning into tonight's high profile clash between AC Milan and Barcelona, Galatasaray versus Schalke boasts its own sprinkling of star quality.
The German side would probably have considered themselves favourites to progress when the draw was made back in December, but some eye-catching activity in the January transfer window has given this tie a whole different complexion.
The additions of Champions League winners Didier Drogba and Wesley Sneijder give Fatih Terim's side the edge in their intimidating home stadium, with Bet365 offering odds of 6/5 (2.20) on them taking a precious first leg lead.
An alarming downturn in form led to the dismissal of Huub Stevens before Christmas, and his successor Jens Keller has only overseen one win in six games since taking over at the Veltins Arena.
It would therefore be a big surprise should the Germans manage to come out on top at the Turk Telecom Arena, as the price of 5/2 (3.50) indicates.
However, Die Konigsblauen are unbeaten away from home in Europe this season, so odds of 5/2 (3.50) may seem tempting on them picking up a draw tonight.
Nevertheless, the shock 2-0 group stage win over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium was the visitors' last away victory in all competitions, and they have lost five and drawn three of the subsequent eight games on the road.
Compare this to just two defeats in 14 matches for the hosts, and consider that they have won three consecutive games in this competition, and those 6/5 (2.20) odds on a home victory start to look like a very good bet.
While the full debut of Drogba will undoubtedly steal all the limelight, the man starting alongside him may be the one writing the headlines.
Only Cristiano Ronaldo has outscored Burak Yilmaz in this season’s competition, although the striker’s six goals in five starts make him the most efficient sharpshooter in the Champions League.
With three goals in this last two domestic matches, the red hot striker looks like great value at 6/1 (7.00) to open the scoring this evening.
|Galatasaray to win at 6/5 (2.20) with Bet365
||Burak Yilmaz to score first at 6/1 (7.00) with Bet365
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Al Hain-Cole is a Liverpool fan, experienced tipster and avid follower of European football. He specialises in accumulators and if you would like to read more from Al you can follow him on Twitter here.
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