By Kadira Malkoc
Galatasaray SK have a score to settle at home to FC Barcelona tomorrow after the Spanish club effectively eliminated them from last season's UEFA Champions League competition.
Luis Enrique winner
Barcelona visited the Ali Sami Yeni stadium in March in the final second group stage match with both teams needing maximum points to be sure of progression to the quarter-finals. Mircea Lucescu's team had drawn all five group games but Luis Enrique ensured the sixth would end in defeat with the game's only goal. It was Galatasaray's first defeat for 28 years - or six matches - against Spanish visitors.
This season Galatasaray are also in buoyant mood ahead of the visit of Barcelona. Last week, on Matchday One, they beat FC Lokomotiv Moskva 2-0 in Russia with goals from the 18-year-old Mohammed Sarr and the prolific Arif Erdem. This signalled the latest step in the club's admirable progress in the Champions League since winning the UEFA Cup two years ago. Before losing to Barça last year, they reached the quarter-finals in 2001 where Real Madrid CF beat them.
Dionisio to start
Christian Correra Dionisio, the Brazilian striker, will start for Galatasaray after being on the bench last week but Elvir Balic is still not fit according to coach Fatih Terim. There are also concerns over the form of Hasan Sas who may also have to be content with a place on the bench. The team should be rested, however, having had the weekend off following the postponement of the Istanbul derby with Fenerbahçe SK.
Barcelona also go into the game in fine form, having started their European campaign with a victory – 3-2 over Club Brugge KV - and winning 2-0 against RCD Espanyol in the Primera División at the weekend. Their form over the last ten Champions League matches has been mixed though with three wins, four draws and three defeats.
Injuries for Barcelona
For the trip to Turkey, coach Louis van Gaal will again be short of cover at the back with defender Patrik Andersson and full-back Philippe Christanval injured. Winger Marc Overmars and striker Dani will also be missing because of knocks as will attacking midfield player Juan Riquelme who was injured on Sunday in training. Luis Enrique, meanwhile, plays his 250th match for the club.
One to watch
Van Gaal is confident that whatever the score, the game will be one to watch. "I am convinced the match will be excellent," he said. "We will have a tough task in Istanbul, but I trust my squad. My players are in form. The [Galatasaray] player I have heard most about is Arif who is in top form. I have not seen much of him but we will see tomorrow."
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