Manchester United take on Galatasaray at Old Trafford on Wednesday 19th September at 7:45pm
Manchester United host Galatasaray on Wednesday evening, nearly nineteen years since the epic 3-3 draw at Old Trafford in the 2nd round of the European Cup. United will be desperate to put on a better show than last season, which culminated in a 2-1 defeat at the hands of FC Basel of Switzerland. Galatasaray won the 2011/12 Süper Lig by nine points. The championship win was the club’s eighteenth, which drew them level on titles with Fenerbahçe. Here we preview United’s opening Champions League game and the history between the two clubs.
Manchester United have met Galatasaray on four occasions, with two draws and a win a piece. United’s first encounter with the ‘cimbom‘ came in October 1993, when nearly forty thousand fans saw a 3-3 draw. Eric Cantona, Bryan Robson and a Hakan Sukur own goal helped United salvage a draw. The second leg will be remember for Eric Cantona’s sending off, the ‘welcome to hell’ messages and United’s elimination from the competition after a 0-0 draw. The Turks went on to finish bottom of their group, which contained finalists Barcelona.
The next season, United played out another bore 0-0 draw in the Ali Sami Yen stadium, however had accumulated four points from their opening two games, beating IFK Gothenburg in the first game at Old Trafford. Defeats to Barcelona (that 4-0 one) and away in Gothenburg meant that United had to beat Galatasaray and hope that IFK Gothenburg would beat Barcelona on their own turf. The game ended 1-1 in Spain, whilst United hammered Galatasaray 4-0 at Old Trafford. The final goal was pure comedy genuis following a wayward Eric Cantona cross. Highlights of the last meeting between the two sides are below:
Galatasaray over the years & history
As mentioned, Galatasaray are joined with Fenerbahçe on eighteen league titles a piece following their success last season. The Turkish league, as we know it, started in the 1958/59 season. Previous to that, Galatasaray won fifteen league titles in the now defunct Istanbul Football League. They are the only Turkish side to win a European trophy, when an ageing but inspirational Gheorghe Hagi led side beat Arsenal on penalties in the UEFA Cup final back in 2000. Below is their record in the league over the past ten years:
In the past fifteen years, Galatasaray have reached the quarter finals of the Champions League in 2001/02 – although, back in 1988/89, the reached the semi final of the competition.
Galatasaray current form
The Champions currently sit on top of the league with three wins from four games, drawing 3-3 away at rivals Beşiktaş. Umut Bulut, their 29 year old striker, is top of the scoring charts with five goals. He is currently on loan at the Turkish side from Toulouse, who used to employ Bulut’s striking partner, Johan Elmander – formerly of Bolton Wanderers. As the season is so young, there is little to report – although, they did enjoy a 3-2 victory over rivals Fenerbahçe in the Süper Kupa, the Turkish Super Cup.
Proposed Manchester United lineup
Robin van Persie and Shinji Kagawa were omitted from the starting lineup on Saturday in the 4-0 victory over Wigan Athletic after picking up knocks in the International break. Although Ferguson will not want to rush back United’s top goalscorer, the more football he plays the more match fit he becomes – which is why I’ve opted to start United’s number 20. Scholes will surely be rested if he will be used against Liverpool on Sunday, although the Sunday kick off allows the United boss to field the likes of Nani and Valencia.
Evans hasn’t played a lot of football this season, so Wednesday is an ideal opportunity to make his first start this season alongside skipper Nemanja Vidic. Evra should return to the starting lineup, in preparation for the barrage of abuse he will receive in his next fixture. Lastly, David De Gea made an error against Fulham at the end of August, but like with Evans – this will be a good opportunity to get the young Spaniard back involved with the first team. Although dropped, fans must not forget his heroic performance against Everton on the opening day, where he stopped United going down int he first half.
What would be your starting lineup for the match?