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Astana welcome Galatasaray in historic first

Debutants FC Astana hope there were enough positives from their opening-day defeat to help them to a historic first victory at the expense of visitors Galatasaray AŞ.

Astana players warm up prior to their UEFA Champions League debut against Benfica
Astana players warm up prior to their UEFA Champions League debut against Benfica ©AFP/Getty Images

Debutants FC Astana made a good impression despite a 2-0 defeat at SL Benfica on matchday one and will be looking for their first three points against Galatasaray AŞ.

• The clubs are more than sporting rivals: on 29 April 2014 in Astana, they signed a memorandum of cooperation, with the Kazakhstani team hoping to learn from Galatasaray's international experience.

Match background

• Astana secured the first participation by a Kazakh club in the UEFA Champions League group stage with a 2-1 aggregate victory over APOEL FC in August's play-off round.

• Nemanja Maksimović’s dramatic equaliser six minutes from time in Cyprus proved decisive after Baurzhan Dzholchiyev had sealed a 1-0 first-leg success.

• In the third qualifying round Stanimir Stoilov's side prevailed 4-3 at home to HJK Helsinki after a goalless away leg. In the previous round they defeated NK Maribor, winning 3-1 at home to overturn a 1-0 away reverse.

• The Turkish double winners, competing in their 14th group stage campaign and their fourth in a row, lost 2-0 at home to Club Atlético de Madrid on matchday one.

• It stretched the Turkish team's winless European run to nine matches.

• In last season's group stage Galatasaray suffered successive 4-1 defeats on their travels against Arsenal FC and then Borussia Dortmund before a third reversal, 2-0 at RSC Anderlecht, to finish bottom of Group D.

• Cimbom's best performance came in 1988/89 when they reached the European Cup semi-finals.

• Galatasaray's sole previous fixture against Kazakhstani opponents was a 2009/10 UEFA Europa League second qualifying round tie. Frank Rijkaard's men, including current squad members Sabri Sarıoğlu and Hakan Balta, beat FC Tobol Kostanay 2-0 at home after a 1-1 draw away.

Coach and player links
• Burak Yılmaz scored twice for Turkey – who featured Selçuk İnan, Semih Kaya and Umut Bulut – in a 3-1 victory over a Kazakhstan side containing Aleksei Schetkin, Abzal Beysebekov, Dmitri Shomko and Dzholchiyev, in a UEFA EURO 2016 qualifier at the Ali Sami Yen stadium on 16 November 2014.

• Burak also got the opening goal in Turkey’s 2-1 win over Kazakhstan in a UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier in Istanbul on 2 September 2011. Selçuk was sent off in the last minute.

• Stoilov captained PFC Levski Sofia in a 2001/02 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round tie against Galatasaray, who triumphed 2-1 in Turkey before a 1-1 draw away.

• Stoilov also played for Fenerbahçe SK in 1992/93 and faced their Istanbul rivals on two occasions, scoring against them on his debut in a pre-season tournament as the Yellow Canaries lost 3-2.

• Lukas Podolski registered Germany's final goal in their 3-0 away success over Kazakhstan in a UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier at the Astana Arena on 12 October 2010.

Match facts

• Patrick Twumasi serves the second of a four-game ban imposed for his red card in the third qualifying round second leg against HJK.

• Astana succumbed 1-0 to title rivals Kairat Almaty on 20 September, their first home setback since a 3-0 defeat by Villarreal CF in the 2014/15 UEFA Europa League play-offs.

• Two of Astana's five league losses in 2015 have come against Kairat. They went down 2-1 against FC Irtysh Pavlodar on Saturday and have not won in four games in all competitions (D1 L3).

• Astana drew 1-1 at home with FK Aktobe on 23 September in the second leg of their Kazakh Cup semi-final, prevailing 3-1 on aggregate. Stoilov's men play Kairat on 22 November in the club's third final.

• Yeldos Akhmetov was carried off on a stretcher three minutes into the second half of that match although he is back in training.

• Galatasaray are unbeaten in three away games this term, winning two of them.

• Burak sustained a hamstring injury in the 1-0 victory at Trabzonspor AŞ on 19 September and was subsequently ruled out for a month.