Galatasaray need a win against Juventus to progress to the knockout stages of the Champions League. Reuters
Come Tuesday night at the end of another round of gripping Champions League group stage action either the champions of Turkey or the Serie A winners will be knocked out of the competition.
Galatasaray host Juventus in a crunch Champions League Group B game with the home side in need of all three points to progress to the last 16.
Real Madrid are head and shoulders above the rest in the group and have qualified as winners, with Juventus, as things, stand the favourites to join the Spanish giants.
The Italian champions have six points from five games, two more than Galatasaray and FC Copenhagen, who play Real Madrid in the other group game on Tuesday.
"It will be a good game in terms of playing a big team like Juventus. Juventus have not conceded a goal for seven matches in Serie A so it will be very hard to beat them," Galatasaray manager Roberto Mancini said. "It's difficult for both teams, perhaps more so for us given we've only one result [to qualify].
"On the other hand, our supporters give us an advantage. I'm very happy to feel their trust in us. We trust them so much too and know that they will help us. We'll do everything to win it, the fans will lend us a hand. The important thing is to defend well. Conceding a goal would make it difficult, and we can't leave too many spaces at the start. We can't forget the game lasts 90 minutes.
"Our target is definitely qualifying for the next round. We are not thinking of any other possibility such as finishing in third place."
Juventus players celebrate a goal against Bologna in their Serie A match, December 6. Reuters
Juventus, who drew with Galatasaray 2-2 in the reverse fixture in Turin, have struggled through the group phase this season, with only a 3-1 win over Copenhagen in the previous group game putting Antonio Conte's men in a position of strength, where a draw in Istanbul will see them through to the pre-quarterfinals.
"This is a decisive match, not the first for us and we hope it will not be the last," Conte said. "We will go out on to the pitch with our mentality and our idea of how to play the game and we hope to secure qualification. [Playing for a draw] is something we don't have in us. Galatasaray are a strong team, it'll be a red-hot atmosphere but we'll try to play to win even if we respect Mancini's side."
Team news: Galatasaray: Wesley Sneijder could be available for the first time in six weeks for Mancini, while goalkeeper Fernando Muslera returned in the 2-0 league win over Elazigspor on Friday after over a month out with a broken toe. Hamit Altintop, however, is sidelined with a back problem.
Juventus: Conte will be without midfield maestro Andrea Pirlo, while Mirko Vucinic is not expected to feature after coming off in the 2-0 win over Bologna at the weekend with a knee injury.
Key men: Galatasaray: Cometh the moment, cometh Didier Drogba, who will want to continue his tryst with the Champions League a little longer.
Juventus: Arturo Vidal celebrated signing a new contract with the opener against Bologna on Friday and the midfielder will look to dent Galatasaray's chances with another big performance.
Where to Watch Live
The game is scheduled for a 1.15 am IST start on early Wednesday morning with no live coverage in India. You can live stream the match by clicking HERE. Viewers in the U.S. can catch the action via live streaming HERE. To watch the match in the U.K., click HERE. Viewers in North Africa and the Middle East click HERE.
Expected lineups: Galatasaray: Muslera; Eboue, Chedjou, Gulselam, Zan; Inan, Melo, Emre, Riera; Drogba, Bulut.
Juventus: Buffon; Barzagli, Ogbonna, Chiellini; Isla, Vidal, Pogba, Marchisio, Peluso; Llorente, Tevez.
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