Barcelona vs Galatasaray predictions and match preview for Thursday’s UEFA Europa League fixture. Read on for the head-to-head, team news and predicted lineups as the Catalans bid for a place in the last eight.
|Date||Thursday 10th March 2022|
|Kick-Off||21:00 (local time)|
|Competition||UEFA Europa League, Last 16 1st Leg|
Barcelona vs Galatasaray Preview
Resurgent Barcelona are targeting a place in the last eight of the Europa League and they will fancy their chances here against Turkish side Galatasaray. Doubts over whether they’d even have enough to get past Napoli have subsided into a situation where Xavi’s men suddenly look the clear favourites to win the competition.
There is a confidence and excitement at Camp Nou that hasn’t really been there for a few years now. That’s partly because standards and expectations have slipped to such an extent that this current run of 4 straight wins and 14 goals scored feels like a huge leap forward. They had to work the hardest for their latest win though, with Memphis Depay’s late penalty enough to seal a 2-1 win at Elche at the weekend.
Depay was key earlier in the season but it no longer feels like he has a natural place in this side such is the competition now. However we can expect plenty of rotation in the forward areas you’d imagine over the coming weeks with a busy schedule and lots of options at Xavi’s disposal. The same is true in other areas of the pitch too with Barcelona’s injury problems having largely subsided.
Galatasaray will travel hoping to cause an upset, but more realistically it may be a damage limitation job as they bid to stay in the tie for the 2nd Leg when they’ll be able to count on passionate support in Istanbul. They impressively went unbeaten to top their Europa League group which also included Lazio, Marseille and Lokomotiv Moscow at the end of 2021 and that should give them confidence heading into this tie.
However it’s fair to say the wheels have fallen off to a large extent since then. Remarkably Galatasaray have only won 2 of their last 16 competitive matches. They’ve lost 5 of their 8 Turkish League games since the turn of the year including a 2-0 loss at Konyaspor at the weekend. They sit 12th in their league, a massive 32 points behind leaders Trabzonspor.
Head to Head
- The clubs haven’t met since the 2002/03 Champions League group stage.
- Barcelona recorded 2-0 and 3-1 victories during that campaign.
- They also met the previous season in the second group stage with the Catalans collecting 4 points from the 2 meetings.
- Galatasaray last beat Barcelona by a 2-1 margin at home in the 1994/95 edition.
Dani Alves is ineligible for Barcelona. Ansu Fati, Samuel Umtiti and Sergio Roberto are out injured.
Former Barca man Arda Turan and Sofiane Feghouli are doubts for the visitors.
Barcelona vs Galatasaray Predictions
Score Prediction: Barcelona 4-0 Galatasaray
Galatasaray are either in crisis or a state of rebuild depending on how kind you want to be. With Barcelona in this kind of form, they shouldn’t have any real trouble progressing from this tie and they look capable of building up a clear 1st Leg advantage here to all but kill it off before the trip to Turkey.
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