Champions League Preview: Galatasaray - CFR Cluj

The Turkish giant has yet to pick up a point in the competition so far, while the Romanian outfit can take a big step towards qualification if it secures a result in Istanbul.

Eboue, Kaya, Nouneko, Riera
Amrabat, Inan, Melo, Colak

Yilmaz, Bulut

Sepsi, Cadu, Rada, Pinto
Sougou, Aguirregaray, Muresan, Camora
Bastos, Kapetanos

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 makes Cluj’s trip to Turkey at least a little less daunting.

The Romanian outfit was impressive in it first away trip of the group stages, beating Braga 2-0 and as the club sits in second place in the group ahead of the contest, it 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 travels to Istanbul with a clean bill of health.

  • Fatih Terim’s Galatasaray side is on its worst run of form since March/April last season and is without a win in four games.
  • The Turkish giant will be hoping fatigue does not play a part on Tuesday – 13 of the squad members 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 the team lifted the 2001 UEFA and Super Cups, while CFR Cluj was runner-up in the 2005 Intertoto Cup.
  • 2012-2013 is only the third time CFR has participated in the Champions League.
  • Ioan Andone's side is 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.