The official website for European football

High stakes in Istanbul

Published: Monday 20 October 2003, 21.00CET
Without a point between them, victory is vital to both Galatasaray SK and Olympiacos CFP.

Tournament statistics


Goals scored6
Attempts on target22
Attempts off target31
Fouls committed127
Yellow cards14
Red cards2

Media Services

Published: Monday 20 October 2003, 21.00CET

High stakes in Istanbul

Without a point between them, victory is vital to both Galatasaray SK and Olympiacos CFP.

If the meeting of Turkish giants Galatasaray SK and Greek title-holders Olympiacos CFP was not attractive enough, the way the two sides have started their UEFA Champions League campaigns has increased its significance even further.

Losing starts
Both teams lost their opening two Group D games against Real Sociedad de Fútbol and Juventus FC, meaning that taking three points in Istanbul on Tuesday is vital to their ambitions - not least as only one side, Newcastle United FC last season, has ever come back to qualify after three opening defeats.

Injury problems
Home coach Fatih Terim has to contend with the suspension of Hasan Sas and injuries that rule out striker Ümit Karan, midfield player Volkan Arslan and, as appears likely, defender Orhan Ak. However, Frank de Boer should be fit, while Cihan Haspolatli and Hakan Sükür are also expected to shrug off injuries sustained at the weekend, in a 1-0 victory against Rizespor that kept Galatasaray third in the Turkish Super League.

'Patient and ambitious'
Terim said on Monday: "In the last league game Cihan got injured. He has stitches in his knee, but he will play. Hakan Sükür's nose is broken, but he will also play." Terim promised Galatasaray would be both "patient and ambitious" in their approach.

Rallying cry
"There are 12 more points to play for, and we will do our best to get 12 points as a team," he said. "I believe that we will win, and I believe in my players. Galatasaray have been successful before, and we can do it again".

Olympiacos boost
It is Galatasaray's first game against Greek opposition, and likewise for Olympiacos against a Turkish side. The visitors received a boost at the weekend when their 2-0 win against Kallithea FC took them to the top of the Alpha Ethniki.

'Last chance'
Oleh Protasov, the Olympiacos coach, warned, however, that this was his side's "last chance" of maintaining hopes of a progressing in the Champions League. He said: "Both teams lost our first two matches in the Champions League. Tomorrow night is the last chance for both teams although the team that may lose will still have chance to finish third. Therefore, I anticipate a good game.

Play to win
"I agree with Fatih Terim that both Galatasaray and Olympiacos are not in the positions they deserve to be. In football you also need some luck but luck is not enough. You have to play carefully too. We've lost two games because we were not careful enough. It's a positive thing to be thinking about winning, and we will play to win. We want at least a draw tomorrow."

Protasov warning
Protasov could be without defender Athanasios Kostoulas, who has a back problem and has included Kleopas Giannou, Spyridon Vallas and Efthimios Koloucheris in a 21-man party. He added: "We have to be careful with all the players of Galatasaray, but we will be especially focusing on Hakan Sükür, Sarioglu Sabri and Elvir Balic who can really damage us if they play."

Last updated: 21/10/03 15.59CET