Roberto Mancini will want to pick up his first Champions League win as Galatasaray manager when the Turkish side entertain FC Copenhagen on Wednesday.
Galatasaray find themselves in a fight for second spot with Juventus and Copenhagen, with Real Madrid four points clear at the top, having won both their games so far.
Galatasaray striker Didier Drogba celebrates after scoring against Juventus in the Champions League, October 2
While Juventus sweat it out against Real at the Bernabeu, Mancini will be confident Galatasaray can pick up their first win of this season's Champions League. Galatasaray and Copenhagen have one point after two games, with Juventus on two, with the former Manchester City manager expecting Group B to go right down to the last game.
"The group has become more open with the point we took from Juventus and I believe all will be decided in our last match against them," Mancini, who only recently replaced Fatih Terim as manager, said. "Until then, we won't make many mistakes and will stay in contention. Of course we respect our opponents, and first we have to win tomorrow [Wednesday] and then carry on in our other fixtures.
"Copenhagen are a very good team, hard to beat. They are playing well defensively and can also threaten from counterattacks and set pieces. We know this. In the Champions League there are no easy matches or weak teams. I don't make predictions -- we have to look at each game as it comes. We have Copenhagen tomorrow and our first aim is to win this match."
Facing Galatasaray at home is always a daunting prospect and Copenhagen manager Stale Solbaken hopes his side can cope under the intense pressure.
"It's always difficult in a stadium like this, where the atmosphere is intense, but some of the players should be experienced enough to deal with it and the youngsters will get their chance to do so from the beginning," he said. "We're strong as a unit. The most important thing is not the crowd or Galatasaray, it is our performance -- we have to be at our very best."
Team News: Engin Baytar is available for Galatasaray, but Hamit Altintop, Gokhan Zan and Hakan Balta are ruled out with Mancini yet to take a decision on who will replace the latter in the starting lineup.
"I have not decided on the left-back position, on whether Albert Riera or Dany Nounkeu will play in the absence of Hakan Balta," the Italian said. "We have two training sessions left -- tonight [Tuesday] and tomorrow morning -- after which I will make my final decision on several matters."
FC Copenhagen have no new injury worries and come to Turkey at full strength.
Key men: Galatasaray: Burak Yilmaz has not quite caught fire like last season, and a relatively easier game, at least on paper, against Copenhagen might be the tonic needed to find his scoring boots in Europe.
FC Copenhagen: Defender Olof Mellberg's experience will be key for the Danish side in what is expected to an extremely hostile atmosphere.
Where to watch
The game is scheduled for a 12.15 a.m. IST start on Thursday morning with no live telecast.
Expected lineups: Galatasaray: Muslera, Sarioglu, Chedjou, Kaya, Nounkeu, Gulselam, Melo, Inan, Sneijder, Yılmaz, Drogba.
FC Copenhagen: Wiland, Jacobsen, Sigurdsson, Mellberg, Remmer, Gislason, Delaney, Claudemir, Vetokele, Jorgensen, Santin.
Prediction: 2-0 to Galatasaray
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- KamaSutra Miss Maxim 2014 Grand Finale: Swapnila Gupta Wins Title; Models Walk the Ramp [PHOTOS]
- Paul Walker On Parkour, Stalkers, Sea Life, And Sharks [PHOTOS/ VIDEOS]
- Paul Walker Death: Antonio Holmes Eyewitness the Porsche Burst Into Flames [PHOTOS/ VIDEOS]
- A Tribute To Great Actor Paul Walker: Best Quotes From 'Fast And Furious' Films [PHOTOS/ VIDEOS]