Galatasaray face a mountain to climb if they are to even come close to clawing back their quarter final against Real Madrid, with Los Blancos already 3-0 up after a comfortable first leg at the Santiago Bernebau was sealed by goals from Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain.
The Turkish side’s task will not be helped by the absence of the tournament’s joint second-highest scorer in Burak Yilmaz, as well as defender Dany Nounkeu. However, Fatih Terim was the man in charge of Turkey during their run of astonishing comebacks during EURO 2008 and he will feel that with the likes of Emmanuel Eboue, Albert Riera, Hamit Altintop, Wesley Sneijder and Didier Drogba to choose from, that Galatasaray are not out of it just yet.
Drogba and Sneijder will surely be particularly vital if the Turkish champions are to continue their Champions League adventure with both having something to prove after not quite matching the sky-high expectations of them since their January arrivals.
Jose Mourinho will attempt to take his side into a record 24th semi final in the European Cup without Spanish duo Sergio Ramos and Xabi Alonso after the pair’s controversial bookings in the first leg sees them suspended for the trip to the Ali Sami Yen Stadium.
Defender Pepe is also an injury concern due to a hamstring problem but Mourinho will be hopeful that with his side’s counter-attacking firepower, Ronaldo being most prominent, that any initial Galatasaray onslaught will quickly be tamed.
The “Special One” looks set to depart the Bernabeu at the end of the season and would dearly love to do so by being the first manager to win the Champions League with three different clubs, after previous successes with FC Porto in 2004 and Inter Milan in 2010.
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