Galatasaray to take Tobol by the horns

Coach Frank Rijkaard asked his Galatasaray SK players to "use all of their power and unite for victory" as they look to erase the memory of a disappointing 1-1 first-leg draw at FC Tobol Kostanay.

New coach Frank Rijkaard in training with Galatasaray
New coach Frank Rijkaard in training with Galatasaray ©Getty Images

Frank Rijkaard asked his Galatasaray SK players to "use all of their power and unite for victory" as they look to erase the memory of a disappointing 1-1 first-leg draw at FC Tobol Kostanay.

Early setback
Few gave the Kazakh side a chance against the Istanbul giants after the draw for the UEFA Europa League second qualifying round. However, Tobol took the lead two minutes into the opener through Nurbol Zhumaskaliyev and did not relinquish it until Milan Baroš's 58th-minute equaliser, with a sluggish Galatasaray seemingly struggling to deal with their new 4-3-3 formation.

Home debut
Rijkaard is determined his side will return to business as usual at the Ali Sami Yen Stadium on Thursday, with the former FC Barcelona boss explaining: "It will be a very special match for me because I will be in front of the Galatasaray home fans for the first time at the stadium. I am very excited about this meeting."

Squad concerns
Defender Alparslan Erdem is suspended, midfielder Mehmet Topal is ruled out with a calf injury, Volkan Yaman (knee) and Aydın Yılmaz (thigh) are doubtful, while Australian forward Harry Kewell and Argentinian goalkeeper Leo Franco will probably not play, having come back to training late. To make matters tougher, internationals Arda Turan, Ayhan Akman and Hakan Balta are also not 100 per cent match fit.

Tricky situation
"It will be a very serious match," concluded Rijkaard, whose side would face Sliema Wanderers FC or Maccabi Netanya FC in the next round if they prevail. "On paper, it seems like an easy game but in reality it's not. Our players will need to work hard for their success. What do I mean by that? They should use all of their power and unite for victory."

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