Real Ready To Baste Turkey's Best

Picture: AFP/
Cristiano Ronaldo scored Real Madrid's opening goal against Galatasaray last week. Image courtesy of
Galatasaray’s excellent away form in the Champions League deserted it at the Bernabeu last week as Real Madrid took control of their quarter-final tie with a comprehensive 3-0 win. Prior to that the Turks had won their past three straight on the road, but now they have to win, and win big at home to progress. Despite the intimidating atmosphere that greets visitors at the Ali Sami Yen Stadium in Istanbul, Galatasaray has managed just one win at home in four starts there in this edition of the tournament, and in each of those matches it has conceded two goals.

A big problem facing the Turkish side is where its goals are going to come from. Up until last week, Burak Yilmaz was equal-leading scorer in the Champions League alongside Cristiano Ronaldo . Nine minutes in to their last meeting Ronaldo netted Real’s first to jump to the top of the goalscoring chart, while Yilmaz picked up a yellow card later in the game which puts him out of Wednesday morning’s contest. They’ll also be missing defender Dany Nounkeu who suffered the same fate.

Real has won two and drawn another of its four away matches in Europe this season, including a 2-1 victory at Old Trafford over Manchester United in the round of 16. Under Jose Mourinho, Los Blancos have scored in all 16 matches on the road, losing just two of them. The Portuguese manager has never failed to get past the quarter-final stage in six previous attempts. Seven times previously Real has won the first leg of a tie 3-0 and on each occasion the Spaniards have progressed. The reigning La Liga champion will be without Sergio Ramos and Xabi Alonso after the duo picked up cautions in the first leg to ensure they wouldn’t miss a potential semi-final date.

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