Galatasaray showed extreme resilience and determination, to rebound after a terrible start in the group stage. The Turks are now in the driver’s seat and need a clear home victory over Schalke to secure a place in the next phase of the Champions League.
Match: Galatasaray vs Schalke
Odds: Pinnacle Sports 2.15
Galatasaray bled points in the first two games against CFR and Braga, but somehow found the resources to close the gap and their formation has been reinforced. Drogba has joined the team and already scored in his debut match, with Ivorian striker expected to feature upfront alongside goal getter Burak Yilmaz. Terim is fully aware of the importance of winning this first leg, and will not allow his players to retreat in the defensive and wait for their opponents to commit a mistake.
Schalke hasn’t lost in the Champions League since succumbing to Manchester United in 2011 at old Trafford, but the Germans were not that sharp this season. They are missing some important players such as Kyriakos Papadopoulos, Ibrahim Afellay, Ciprian Marica or Atsuto Uchida but welcome Huntelaar back. The Dutch striker was sidelined with an eye injury lately and it is uncertain how he will perform in his first important match.
Galatasaray is a terrible traveling team but with a stadium impact of enthusiastic fans, it can secure qualification in the first leg. The first half will be decisive and punters should expect an all-out offensive, with the hosts being compelled to take initiative. Now that Drogba has joined them in their quest for Champions League glory, defeating Schalke at home seems more likely and the odds of 2.15 offered by Pinnacle Sports look very attractive.