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Galatasaray vs Barcelona: UEFA Europa League background, form guide, previous meetings

Having held Barcelona 0-0 at the Camp Nou, Galatasaray have the chance to atone for a disappointing domestic season by knocking out the Catalan giants.

Barcelona and Galatasaray drew 0-0 at the Camp Nou
Barcelona and Galatasaray drew 0-0 at the Camp Nou Getty Images

Having held Barcelona to a goalless draw at the Camp Nou in the first leg, Galatasaray have the chance to atone for a disappointing domestic season by knocking out the Catalan giants and reaching the quarter-finals of the UEFA Europa League.

• Galatasaray secured their direct qualification for the round of 16 as unbeaten Group E winners, the Turkish side registering four points against all three of their opponents – Lokomotiv Moskva, Marseille and Lazio.

• After 17 successive years competing in the knockout rounds of the UEFA Champions League, Barcelona failed to progress from their group this season, picking up just seven points to finish third behind Bayern München and Benfica and cross over to the UEFA Europa League, where they drew 1-1 at home to Napoli on their competition debut before eliminating their Italian opponents with a pulsating 4-2 victory at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.

Galatasaray vs Barcelona: the latest from the match

Previous meetings
• Barcelona's goalscoring struggles in Europe this season resurfaced in the first leg against Galatasaray, who maintained their unbeaten run in the competition by holding their illustrious hosts to a 0-0 draw.

• Barcelona and Galatasaray had met in eight previous UEFA fixtures before this season – all group games in the UEFA Champions League between 1993 and 2002. The Spanish side won five of them, registering victories in each of the last two away fixtures, the most recent 2-0 on Matchday 2 in 2002/03. In each of the previous four seasons that they have met, Barcelona made further progress in the competition while Galatasaray failed to make it out of the group.

• Galatasaray have won only six of their 16 home games against Spanish opposition (D2 L8), losing the last three, including 1-6 against Real Madrid in the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League group stage – the Istanbul club's joint heaviest European home defeat. Indeed, they had lost six successive games against Spanish opponents, with 21 goals conceded and just two scored, before the first-leg stalemate at the Camp Nou.

• The Istanbul club's record in two-legged ties with Spanish clubs is W1 L6 with defeats in the last five, though the exception was a 6-2 aggregate victory over Mallorca (4-1 a, 2-1 h) in the quarter-finals of the 1999/2000 UEFA Cup, which they went on to win, becoming the first club from Turkey to lift a major European trophy. They also defeated Madrid 2-1 after extra time in the UEFA Super Cup later that year.

• Barcelona have won three and lost three of their seven European fixtures in Turkey, going down 1-0 on their first visit, against Trabzonspor in the 1990/91 European Cup Winners' Cup first round, but winning the second leg 7-2 in their only previous two-legged UEFA knockout tie against a Turkish side.

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Form guide
• Runners-up to Beşiktaş in the 2020/21 Turkish Süper Lig by the narrowest of margins, Galatasaray were unable to join their Istanbul rivals in this season's UEFA Champions League group stage as they were overwhelmed by PSV Eindhoven in the second qualifying round (1-5 a, 1-2 h). However, they ensured an autumn of UEFA Europa League involvement by subsequently defeating St Johnstone (1-1 h, 4-2 a) and Randers (1-1 a, 2-1 h).

• Ousted by Rangers in the play-offs of last season's UEFA Europa League (1-2 a), Galatasaray are currently enjoying their deepest run in the competition. The 1999/2000 UEFA Cup winners alternated victories with draws in Group E during the autumn as they qualified ahead of Lazio (1-0 h, 0-0 a), Marseille (0-0 a, 4-2 h) and Lokomotiv (1-0 a, 1-1 h). They have since replaced Fatih Terim as head coach with former Barcelona assistant boss Domènec Torrent.

• This is the Istanbul club's first appearance in the UEFA Europa League round of 16. They have lost each of their previous initial ties in the knockout phase of the competition, falling to round of 32 defeats in 2009/10 by Atlético (1-1 a, 1-2 h), in 2015/16 by Lazio (1-1 h, 1-3 a) and in 2018/19 by Benfica (1-2 h, 0-0 a). They are therefore still awaiting their first win in a UEFA Europa League knockout phase encounter (D3 L3). They are therefore still awaiting their first win in a UEFA Europa League knockout phase encounter (D4 L3).

• Galatasaray's home record in all rounds of the UEFA Europa League is W9 D7 L2, those two defeats both incurred in the round of 32 – against Atlético and Benfica. The clean sheet against Lazio on Matchday 1 was one of just two the Turkish giants have kept in their last 12 home games in the competition, qualifying included.

• Galatasaray have emerged victorious from nine of the 12 previous UEFA ties in which they drew the first away leg, most recently against Randers in this season's UEFA Europa League qualifying play-off. Their record after goalless away draws in the first leg is W3 L1 with victories in the last three after losing the first, to Spanish side Atlético in the first round of the 1973/74 European Cup (0-1 h).

• Barcelona were third in the 2020/21 Spanish Liga behind Atlético de Madrid and Real Madrid, the first time they had finished outside the top two since 2007/08, when they also came third. They did, however, claim a record-extending 31st victory in the Copa del Rey, beating Athletic Club 4-0 in the final.

• Last season Barcelona also failed to reach the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals for the first time since 2006/07, losing to Paris Saint-Germain in the round of 16 (1-4 h, 1-1 a). This term they scored just two goals – both in 1-0 wins against Dynamo Kyiv – in finishing third behind Bayern (0-3 h, 0-3 a) and Benfica (0-3 a, 0-0 h) in Group E. Head coach Ronald Koeman was dismissed in October and replaced the following month by former midfielder Xavi Hernández.

• While this is Barça's first season in the UEFA Europa League, their last appearance in the UEFA Cup was in 2003/04, when they reached the fourth round before being knocked out by Celtic (0-1 a, 0-0 h). Barcelona never won the UEFA Cup, nor reached a final, suffering semi-final elimination on four occasions – in 1975/76, 1977/78, 1995/96 and 2000/01.

• Barça's win in Naples last time out was one of only two they have managed in their last 12 springtime European fixtures outside Catalonia (D4 L6). The other was against Manchester United in the first leg of the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League quarter-final (1-0).

• The Azulgrana have been held to a home draw in the first leg of a UEFA tie on 12 previous occasions, going through six times, most recently in this season's knockout round play-off against Napoli. When drawing 0-0 at home first, Barça's aggregate record is W1 L2 with all three ties in European semi-finals against English opposition. The last two came in successive UEFA Champions League contests – a defeat by Manchester United in 2007/08 (0-1 a) followed by an away goals success at Chelsea (1-1 a) in 2008/09.

Highlights: Barcelona 0-0 Galatasaray

UEFA Europa League squad changes
In: Bafétimbi Gomis (Al-Hilal), Iñaki Peña (Barcelona, loan), Erick Pulgar (Fiorentina, loan)
Out: Atalay Babacan (Ümraniyespor, loan), Mbaye Diagne (released), Christian Luyindama (Al Taawoun, loan), DeAndre Yedlin (Inter Miami)

In: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal), Ferran Torres (Manchester City), Adama Traoré (Wolves, loan)
Out: Sergio Agüero (retired), Philippe Coutinho (Aston Villa, loan), Yusuf Demir (Rapid Wien, end loan), Iñaki Peña (Galatasaray, loan)

Links and trivia
• Barcelona goalkeeper and Spanish Under-21 international Iñaki Peña joined Galatasaray on loan in the January transfer window.

• Galatasaray's 35-year-old midfielder Arda Turan is a former Barcelona player who scored 15 goals in 55 appearances for the club between 2015 and 2017, winning one domestic league crown and two Spanish Cups. He was also a 2011/12 UEFA Europa League winner in the first of his four seasons with Atlético de Madrid.

• Xavi started both of Barça's matches against Galatasaray in the 2001/02 UEFA Champions League second group stage (2-2 h, 1-0 a) plus the 2-0 away win in the following season's first group stage.

• New Galatasaray head coach Torrent hails from Catalonia and served on the coaching staff at Barcelona from 2007 to 2012 before accompanying Pep Guardiola to Bayern München (2013–16) and Manchester City (2016–18), where he continued to operate as his assistant.

• Galatasaray's Patrick van Aanholt and Ryan Babel are Netherlands national team-mates of Barcelona trio Frenkie de Jong, Luuk de Jong and Memphis Depay.

• Also representing the same national team are Fernando Muslera and Ronald Araújo (Uruguay) and Victor Nelsson and Martin Braithwaite (Denmark).

• Babel and Barcelona's Sergiño Dest were team-mates at Ajax in 2019/20, new Galatasaray recruit Bafétimbi Gomis and Barça defender Samuel Umtiti played together at Lyon from 2011 to 2014, and Sofiane Feghouli and Jordi Alba were Valencia colleagues from 2010 to 2012.

• Feghouli spent six years in Spain with Valencia (2010–16), which incorporated a 2011 loan spell at Almería, and Babel spent the first half of 2016/17 with Deportivo La Coruña.

• Galatasaray are one of five clubs involved in the UEFA Europa League round of 16 that have previously lifted the trophy, in their case in its former guise as the UEFA Cup.

• Competition debutants Barcelona became the 224th team to take part in the UEFA Europa League, group stage to final, and the 13th from Spain, when they entered in the knockout round play-offs.

• Barcelona are one of three reigning domestic cup holders in the UEFA Europa League round of 16 – along with Crvena zvezda and Braga.

• The Catalan giants are also one of three former European Cup/UEFA Champions League winners involved in the last 16 – together with Crvena zvezda and Porto.

Penalty shoot-outs
• Galatasaray's record in one UEFA penalty shoot-out is W1 L0:
4-1 v Arsenal, 1999/2000 UEFA Cup final

• Barcelona's record in six UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W5 L1:
5-4 v AZ Alkmaar, 1977/78 UEFA Cup second round
3-1 v Ipswich Town, 1977/78 UEFA Cup third round
4-1 v Anderlecht, 1978/79 European Cup Winners' Cup second round
5-4 v IFK Göteborg, 1985/86 European Champion Clubs' Cup semi-final
0-2 v Steaua Bucureşti, 1985/86 European Champion Clubs' Cup final
5-4 v Lech Poznań, 1988/89 European Cup Winners' Cup second round

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