By Greg Demetriou
Club Brugge KV's excellent 0-0 draw at the Ali Sami Yen stadium last time out in the UEFA Champions League has left them in a position to pip Galatasaray SK to second place in Group H.
Hoping to progress
With leaders FC Barcelona seemingly unstoppable after three straight wins, Brugge and Galatasaray know they are probably competing for the other qualification place for the second group stage, although bottom club FC Lokomotiv Moskva are also not out of it just yet.
Although Brugge are in third place with two points to Galatasaray's four, they can take a giant leap forward with victory at home tonight. This would give them a better record in the meetings between the two clubs, the deciding factor if they finish level on points. Of course, if Galatasaray can win, the balance will be firmly in their favour.
Brugge coach Trond Sollied said: "We want to win as badly as them. If we do not win, a draw is good for us, but a 0-0, not a 1-1 that would be positive for Galatasaray against us if we finish level." Yet since their opening day 3-2 defeat in Barcelona, Brugge have found goals hard to come by with a 0-0 at home against Lokomotiv before the stalemate in Istanbul.
The coach, whose team are five points clear in Belgium after a 3-2 away win against R.Charleroi SC on Saturday, is worried about the absence of midfield player Serhiy Serebrennikov but is hoping Alin Stoica can perform. "Alin is important for us if we are to do well offensively," Sollied added.
For Galatasaray, a 2-0 victory in Moscow on Matchday One was followed by a 2-0 home defeat by Barcelona, before the draw with Brugge. "Some people say this is our final chance, the game of truth," said coach Fatih Terim. "It is not true, if we win, fine, but if we lose we still have a good chance to go through." The club are top in Turkey following a 1-0 win against Diyarbakirspor on Saturday.
Terim was also unconcerned about injuries to João Batista and Mohammed Sarr. "We are not in any kind of crisis and if some players do not satisfy me with their performances on the pitch, I talk to them and only to them. We have also some injured players like Brugge but no coach in the Champions League will lose sleep because of that, we have other possibilities."
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