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UEFA Champions League

  • October 23, 2012
  • • 19:45
  • • Türk Telekom Arena, Istanbul
  • Referee: P. Tagliavento
  • • Attendance: 39013

Galatasaray - CFR Cluj Preview: Fatih Terim's side look to kick-start their European campaign

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


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 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.

  • 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 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.


Field Report
Reader's Predictions
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Head to Head
UEFA Champions League ‎(UCL)‎ Nov 7, 2012 CFR Cluj 1 - Galatasaray 3
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UEFA Champions League ‎(UCL)‎ Oct 23, 2012 Galatasaray 1 - CFR Cluj 1
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Last Five Matches
Team News
Available Squads
25Néstor Muslera MicolGoalkeeper
-Dany NounkeuDefender
26Semih KayaDefender
27Emmanuel EboueDefender
4Hamit AltıntopMidfielder
8Selçuk İnanMidfielder
3Felipe MeloMidfielder
-Johan ElmanderStriker
19Umut BulutStriker
-Nordin AmrabatStriker
-Ufuk CeylanGoalkeeper
22Hakan BaltaDefender
55Sabri SarıoğluDefender
-Engin BaytarMidfielder
52Emre ÇolakMidfielder
17Burak YılmazStriker
1Mário FelgueirasGoalkeeper
-Ivo PintoDefender
33Laszlo SepsiDefender
13Felice PiccoloDefender
4M. AguirregarayDefender
16Rafael BastosMidfielder
-Nicolas GodemècheMidfielder
-Luís AlbertoMidfielder
-Pantelis KapetanosStriker
44Eduard StăncioiuGoalkeeper
24Vasile MafteiGoalkeeper
24Ionut RadaDefender
6Gabriel MuresanMidfielder
-Viorel NicoarăMidfielder
-Rui PedroStriker
32Sasa BjelanovicStriker
Players to Watch
Felipe Melo
Felipe Melo
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 3
Games Goals YC RC
1 0 1 0
The former Juventus midfielder is integral to the centre of the Gala midfield, and his ability to win the ball and distribute to the more offensive-minded players in the team could prove crucial to his side achieving a positive result.
Rafael Bastos
Rafael Bastos
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 16
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The 27-year-old attacker was the hero of the recent Champions League win over Sporting Braga, and the Romanian side will need his guile in the final third if they are to escape Turkey with victory.
Both sides may be bereft of confidence but the need from the Turkish side is greater, and they should be able to get their campaign under way in earnest.
Editor's Prediction

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