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After the international break and another weekend of domestic football, we are back in for Champions League action in the final week of October. The group stage of the Champions League comes up to the halfway mark and by now it will be clear which teams have good chances to go through and which need to get results in the remaining games.
h4: No Recent Historical Precedent
While most European Cup games have been played fairly recently, the fixture Galatasaray vs Bayern has only been played once and this happened 51 years ago. Back then the format of the competition was two matches played over two legs and the score would be aggregated. In autumn 1972 Bayern came out 7-1 winners and later were able to lift the first of their six European Cups.
Galatasaray Team News
Galatasaray will play full of confidence having won their last league games, winning against Antalyaspor and Besiktas in the league while also beating Manchester United and drawing with Kopenhagen, which makes them a strong contender to go through at the halftime of the group phase in this season’s Champions League.
Possible Line-Up for Galatasaray
Muslera – Boey, D. Sanchez, Bardakci, Angelino – Ayhan, Torreira – Tete, Aktürkoglu, Zaha – Icardi
There is a doubt whether Mauro Icardi will be able to play as he has sustained an injury in the derby win over Besiktas. He could be replaced by Cedric Bakambu. Sergio Oliviera needs to be careful as he already received two yellow cards and a third would mean a one-match suspension for the next game.
Team News Bayern
Bayern are travelling to Istanbul and will be facing in-form Galatasaray, but they come with a few issues to deal with. Thomas Tuchel will miss Serge Gnabry who is still recovering from a broken arm. Further out are Dayot Upamecano and Raphaël Guerreiro with injuries. The issue of Noussair Mazraoui leaves Bayern exposed in defense and the injury of Goretzka forces Tuchel to employ Laimer at right-back while Müller and Musiala will be in midfield covered by Kimmich.
There may be however, a surprise return of Bouna Sarr. He has largely been sidelined over the last three years as he seems never to be a player of the calibre Bayern require. Yet, against Mainz he played 21 minutes, replacing the injured Leon Goretzka and largely did well. He lacks match practice but nonetheless may just be the player needed right now.
On the other hand, Bayern need not worry as their domestic form points upward and two wins from their last three Bundesliga games underline their good form. On top of that they are unbeaten in the Champions League, having beaten Kopenhagen FC and Manchester United in their first two games.
Possible Line-Up for Bayern
Ulreich – Laimer, de Ligt, M.-J. Kim, Davies – Kimmich – Coman, Musiala, T. Müller, L. Sané – Kane
Subs: Da. Peretz, Krätzig, Sarr, Pavlovic, Choupo-Moting, Tel
Besides Gnabry, Guerreiro and Upamecano, there will also be Goretzka absent with a broken hand, Buchmann and Mazraoui with muscular issues, while Neuer and Hülsmann have not been considered for the match-day squad and will not travel to Istanbul.
Featured Duel: Kane vs. Sanchez
In the Bundesliga, Harry Kane has quickly made his mark. In eight games so far he has netted nine times, making him the top scorer without any doubt or fear of being dethroned by anyone. Sanchez meanwhile was outstanding against Manchester United, making this duel a very interesting one to watch.
Galatasaray vs Bayern: The Final Word
This could be a decisive game in the Group A. If Bayern win, they are almost unassailable with nine points from three matches, a draw would benefit either side. Should Galatasaray win this match and Manchester United also win, the group would remain level for all teams, even for Kopenhagen.
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