Galatasaray vs Manchester United: Preview, team news, predicted line-ups as Red Devils fight for UCL lifeline

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Galatasaray vs Manchester United: Preview, team news, predicted line-ups as Red Devils fight for UCL lifeline

Festus Chuma 14:00 - 29.11.2023

Manchester United faces a must-win showdown against Galatasaray in the Champions League, seeking redemption and survival in a crucial UEFA CHampions League clash

Manchester United find themselves in a precarious position as they face a daunting trip to Istanbul to take on Galatasaray in a UEFA Champions League tie set for Wednesday night.

With three defeats in their last four games, Erik ten Hag's side languishes at the bottom of Group A, desperately needing a victory to keep their hopes alive. 

Match preview

Bayern Munich's dominance in the group has left little room for error, but United is still just a point away from second place. 

A victory against Galatasaray is now not just a desire but an absolute necessity for the Red Devils.

Manchester United will be going into the match with a memory of a painful defeat at the hands of Galatasaray at Old Trafford earlier this season still lingers, and now United must travel to Istanbul to make amends. 

Their current standing in the group, with a mere three points to their name, reflects the uphill battle they face. However, their Turkish hosts are only marginally better off, occupying one place and one point above them.

Galatasaray showcased their resilience in their recent clash with Bayern Munich, holding the Bundesliga champions at bay for 80 minutes at the formidable Allianz Arena. 

Harry Kane's late header and second goal, coupled with Cedric Bakambu's late strike, ultimately handed them a narrow defeat. 

Yet, Galatasaray missed a golden opportunity to solidify their position in the top two, setting the stage for a fierce contest for the second spot, while group leaders Bayern watch on.

Currently level on points with Copenhagen but trailing in goal difference, Okan Buruk's men are well aware that nothing is decided this week. 

However, a defeat coupled with an unexpected Copenhagen victory over Bayern would leave them in a precarious position, teeing up a winner-takes-all showdown with the Scandinavians on December 12.

Galatasaray experienced a setback in their domestic campaign with their first Turkish Super Lig loss of the season to Hatayspor but bounced back emphatically with a resounding 4-0 victory over Alanyaspor. Notably, former Red Devils youth product Wilfried Zaha was among the scorers, underscoring the unpredictable nature of football.

Speaking of youth products, Manchester United has its own rising star in Alejandro Garnacho, who has already etched his name into Premier League folklore with a sensational acrobatic goal that invoked memories of legends like Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Gareth Bale.

 Garnacho's brilliance, along with goals from Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial, propelled United to a convincing 3-0 win over Everton, offering hope that a turning point may be on the horizon for Erik ten Hag's side.

The Red Devils must now face the reality that their Champions League journey hangs in the balance. A draw or a win against Galatasaray will keep their hopes alive, but a fourth defeat in five games would send them packing.

To add to the pressure, if they lose and Copenhagen manages to defeat Bayern, Manchester United will finish at the bottom of the group.

" I think we improved, so it's good progress. You see how we are stepping up, we are more stable, we are winning games, so definitely, there's a big difference from the first moment we played them,” said Ten Hag ahead of the Galatasaray clash.

For Manchester United, this encounter holds extra significance as they aim to avenge their painful 3-2 loss to Galatasaray at Old Trafford just last month.

Additionally, they have failed to score in three away games against the Turkish side, marking their longest such run against a single opponent in European competitions. 

Team News

As the teams prepare to take the field, both sides have their share of injury concerns. 

Galatasaray's Fernando Muslera, whose availability was in doubt, is set to return to the lineup. However, they will be without the services of Abdulkerim Bardakci, a key center-back sidelined due to injury, underscoring the physical demands of modern football.

On the other hand, Manchester United continues to grapple with the absence of several key players.

 Casemiro, Christian Eriksen, and Lisandro Martinez remain injured, while Marcus Rashford is suspended. Rasmus Hojlund, who missed the match against Everton, could potentially make a return, and young talent Mainoo, following his Premier League debut, is expected to feature prominently in the Champions League due to the absence of major players in midfield.

Galatasaray predicted lineup:

Muslera; Boey, Sanchez, Ayhan, Karatas; Torreira, Ndombele; Yilmaz, Mertens, Zaha; Icardi

Manchester United predicted lineup: 

Onana; Shaw, Maguire, Varane, Wan-Bissaka; Mainoo, McTominay; Garnacho, Fernandes, Rashford; Martial