Galatasaray vs Barcelona predictions and match preview for Thursday’s UEFA Europa League fixture. Read on for the head-to-head, analysis and team news as the Catalans target a place in the last eight.
|Date||Thursday 17th March 2022|
|Kick-Off||18:45 (Spanish time)|
|Competition||UEFA Europa League Last 16, 2nd Leg|
Galatasaray vs Barcelona Preview
It’s UEFA Europa League night again this Thursday and what a game we have in store in Istanbul. Barcelona’s failure to break down a stubborn Galatasaray side in a goalless 1st Leg at Camp Nou makes this a much tougher assignment than it might have been for Xavi’s side, not ideal just three days before the Clasico in Madrid.
While getting a result at the Bernabeu feels like it would be very important as Barcelona look to prove the tide is turning and that they are going to be able to be competitive with Los Blancos once more, this game is arguably bigger in terms of their aims and objectives this season. Four straight league wins has put them back on track for a top four finish but their hopes of silverware this season lie in this competition.
Ferran Torres’ brace set them on their way to a 4-0 win over Osasuna on Sunday night, the most routine of victories in LaLiga but they failed to score with any of their 16 attempts on goal last week against the Turkish side. Barcelona can though take belief from having only drawn at home in the 1st Leg in the last round, before winning comfortably away in what had the potential to be a difficult night in Naples.
The Galatasaray fans will be hoping to make this as hostile as possible and the team may need all the help they can get. It’s fair to say though, that they have certainly saved their best football for this competition this season. Incredibly, Galatasaray dropped as low as 15th place in the Turkish Super Lig heading into Monday’s derby against Besiktas. However they are unbeaten in the Europa League this term and won their group which featured Lazio, Marseille and Lokomotiv Moscow.
They did only manage 3 attempts on goal and had just 31% possession in the 1st Leg but did a good job in denying Barcelona the kind of space they’ve had in some recent league games. You’d imagine Galatasaray’s approach will be fairly similar here and Barcelona will need to dig deep and perhaps be patient with two hours potentially available to them as they look for a breakthrough.
Head to Head
- Last 5 Competitive Meetings: 3 Barcelona Wins, 2 Draws.
- The sides drew 0-0 in the 1st Leg last week.
- Barcelona had won all of the previous 3 meetings.
- They’ve won to nil on both trips to Istanbul to face this opposition this century, both of which were UCL games in 2002.
Ryan Babel should be fit for the hosts despite picking up a knock in the 1st Leg. Arda Turan misses out again against his former employees with Kaan Arslan, Halil Dervisoglu, Ismail Cipe, Baris Yilmaz and Alpaslan Ozturk also likely to be out again.
Gerard Pique joins the Barcelona injury list with Ansu Fati, Sergi Roberto, Alejandro Balde and Samuel Umtiti already out for this one.
Galatasaray vs Barcelona Predictions
Score Prediction: Galatasaray 1-2 Barcelona (Aggregate: 1-2)
There is a gulf in quality between these two teams and Barcelona certainly won’t be panicking despite their 1st Leg frustration. Galatasaray have shown an ability to up their game in Europe, but this may be the night where their luck runs out and Xavi’s side should still make it through to the Quarter-Finals.
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