Preview: United need to beat Galatasaray to have a chance of staying in Europe; Mainoo to start?

Everton victory will act as a confidence booster ahead of UEFA Champions League clash in Turkey

Galatasaray -v- Manchester United

UEFA Champions League

Ali Sami Yen Spor Kompleksi, Istanbul

Wednesday 29 November 2023, KO 17:45 GMT

Manchester United are back in UEFA Champions League action as they travel to Turkey to face Galatasaray at the RAMS Park in a bid to earn some points which could see them remain in the competition or fall into the UEFA Europa League this season.

United have not been in good form this season despite losing three of their four matches in the Champions League so far. In fairness, the defeats were narrow; 4-3 to Bayern, 3-2 to Galatasaray and 4-3 to Copenhagen. United still have a chance of qualifying this season.

On Sunday, United returned to Premier League action following the international break with a 3-0 victory over Everton at Goodison Park. Alejandro Garnacho opened the scoring in the third minute with a stunning overhead kick. Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial scored the other goals.

United – Form, Goals Scored & Assists

Everton 3-0 W, Luton 1-0 W, Copenhagen 4-3 L, Fulham 1-0 W, Newcastle 3-0 L, City 3-0 L

Goals: 5 – Rasmus Hojlund, 4 – Casemiro, Bruno Fernandes, 3 – Scott McTominay, 2 – Alejandro Garnacho, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, 1 – Diogo Dalot, Christian Eriksen, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Hannibal Mejbri, Raphael Varane

Assists: 4 – Bruno Fernandes, 3 – Marcus Rashford, 2 – Christian Eriksen, 1 – Casemiro, Diogo Dalot, Jonny Evans, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Anthony Martial, Lisandro Martínez, Scott McTominay, Mason Mount, Facundo Pellistri, Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Galatasaray – Form, Goals Scored & Assists

Alanyaspor 4-0 W, Hatayspor 2-1 L, Bayern 2-1 L, Kasımpaşa 2-1 W, Rizespor 1-0 W, Bayern 3-1 L

Goals: 16 – Mauro Icardi, 6 – Wilfried Zaha, 5 – Kerem Aktürkoglu, 4 – Dries Mertens, 2 – Abdulkerim Bardakci, Halil Dervisoglu, Sérgio Oliveira, 1 – Angeliño, Cedric Bakambu, Sacha Boey, Fredrik Midtsjø, Tete, Davinson Sánchez, Hakim Ziyech

Assists: 7 – Kerem Aktürkoğlu, 5 – Mauro Icardi, Dries Mertens, 3 – Barış Alper Yılmaz, 2 – Sérgio Oliveira, Davinson Sánchez, Tete, Wilfried Zaha, 1 – Yunus Akgün, Angeliño, Kaan Ayhan, Kerem Demirbay, Hakim Ziyech

Previous Meetings & Connections

United and Galatasaray have met seven times in the UEFA Champions League. United have won twice with Galatasaray winning twice with three draws between the two teams. United have scored ten goals with Galatasaray scoring six – United have had four clean sheets.

The first match was played in 1993; a 3-3 draw at Old Trafford. Then resulted the famous 0-0 draw in supposed hell. United played Galatasaray the next season, drawing 0-0 and winning 4-0. In 2012 a 1-0 win for United at home, 1-0 defeat away. Galatasaray won 3-2 last month.

Alex Telles, Radamel Falcao, Juan Mata and Wilfried Zaha have all played for both United and Galatasaray. Telles, Falcao and Saha all had short careers with United whereas Mata was at United for the best part of a decade and was a big figure at the club.

Team News

Lisandro Martinez (ankle/foot), Jonny Evans (thigh), Tyrell Malacia (knee), Mason Mount (calf/shin/heel), Christian Eriksen (knee), Amad Diallo (knee) and Casemiro (thigh) have all been ruled out due to injury. Ten Hag has many injury problems still.

Jadon Sancho is out of action at this time due to personal problems at the club. To top it all off, Antony (knock) and Rasmus Hojlund (thigh) are both doubt with them having 50% chances of being fit enough to face Galatasaray in Istanbul on Wednesday evening.

Davinson Sanchez and Abdulkerim Bardakci are both reported to be out of the clash with United, despite local reports suggesting they are available. Fernando Muslera and Wilfried Zaha are both expected to be involved against United – which is a boost for the Turkish side.

Predicted United Starting XI – 4-2-3-1

Onana;

Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Varane, Shaw;

Mainoo, McTominay;

Pellistri, Fernandes, Garnacho;

Hojlund

Predicted Galatasaray Starting XI – 4-2-3-1

Muslera;

Boey, Sanchez, Ayhan, Karatas;

Ndombele, Torriera;

Yilmaz, Mertens, Zaha;

Icardi

Match Prediction

United will need to get a good result in Istanbul against Galatasaray on Wednesday evening to have any chance of either staying in the Champions League this season or falling into the Europa League. Failing that, they could finish bottom of the group and miss out altogether.

Against Everton, United played well and got the result they needed to push on in the Premier League. Alejandro Garnacho’s overhead kick was a stunning goal for United. It almost guarantees him a place in the starting XI against the Turkish giants this week.

Erik ten Hag will need to do all he can to get the result needed to stay in the Champions League, if only for another fortnight, as the match with Bayern will be the decider with United needing victories in both matches to safeguard their progression in Europe this season.

Galatasaray 2-3 Manchester United

Written by John Walker

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I support Manchester United, the greatest English football team to have ever existed. Bruno Fernandes is the latest in a long line of players with great ability to play for the club. I idolised Bryan Robson, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, and Eric Cantona growing up.