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UEFA Champions League preview: Galatasaray v Real Madrid

Galatasaray have a colossal task on their hands to overturn a 3-0 deficit in their Champions League quarter-final tie with Real Madrid.

Goals from Christiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain led Real to a very comfortable 3-0 win in the opening leg.

Only catastrophe in Tuesday’s second leg in Istanbul will deny them a place in the semi-finals and halt Real boss Jose Mourinho’s quest for a third Champions League title.

Didier Drogba, who won the title with Chelsea last season, returned to form on Saturday with a brace for Galatasaray in a 3-1 win over Mersin Idmanyurdu in the Turkish Super Lig.

The Ivorian will have to have an impact against former boss Mourinho if the hosts are to deliver a stunning upset.

Drogba’s importance is heightened by the absence of key striker Burak Yilmaz, who is suspended, leaving Galatasaray coach Fatih Terim short on attacking stocks.

Terim must revise his approach after his team selection in Madrid failed to have the desired effect.

The 59-year-old opted for just one holding midfielder in the first leg, Felipe Melo, and as his midfield toiled chasing Real players around, they soon found themselves 2-0 down.

Creative spark Wesley Sneijder offered little due to a lack of supply and was hauled off at half-time after struggling to get on the ball.

Terim may look to the Dutchman again as he goes for broke in Turkey.

Mourinho will need to manage without Spanish duo Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos, both absent through suspension. As a result, Michael Essien will likely line up in the middle again with Rafael Varane holding his spot at centre-back unchallenged.

Galatasaray are also missing central defender Dany Nounkeu through suspension.

While aware of the size of the task, Galatasaray will find hope following their stunning 3-2 Champions League win over Real in 2001, despite being eliminated on that occasion through aggregate.

Mon 8 April, 2013
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