RACHEL – Winless Lions face flagging Borussia Dortmund in Group D

Winless Lions face flagging Borussia Dortmund in Group DGalatasaray is at a definite disaantage as it faces Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund in their UEFA Champions League Group D match on Wednesday, but all may not be lost, as the German club is riding a string of disappointing results into the fixture.Dortmund just lost to Cologne in its most recent Bundesliga match, its fifth defeat in eight matches, which prompted coach Jurgen Klopp to brand his own club andldquopointlessandrdquo this week.

If ever there were a time for Galatasaray to strike down a mighty German opponent, this would be it. The Lions of the Super League are flying high after defeating rival Fenerbahe 2-1 on Saturday.

Now if only they can channel their positive feelings into a stellar 90 minutes against Dortmund on the same exact pitch on Wednesday, they may be on to something. Besides, Galatasaray overcame Dortmund on the way to its first and only UEFA Cup honorBut Galatasaray cannot get too carried away.

It may be winning at home, but the Istanbul club is facing immense pressure in the Champions League. Besides, Dortmund currently leads the group after breezing past Arsenal 2-0 at home in match one and Anderlecht 3-0 away.

The German club is not so pointless on the international stage as it is at home.So even against a team whose coach admits, andldquoThe way we played today just didnandrsquot make sense,andrdquo this match will not be easy, and Galatasaray absolutely must start winning in the Champions League.

The Lions are in rough shape after drawing 1-1 with Belgian champion Anderlecht at home in match one, before being annihilated by Arsenal 4-1 in London. That puts Galatasaray and Anderlecht at the bottom with one point apiece to Dortmundandrsquos six.

Anderlecht is looking to amend its own victory drought when it faces Arsenal away on Wednesday. In both matches the favorites are clear, and everyone else is playing for an upset.

Whole 90 minutesCounted among Galatasarayandrsquos few aantages will be Dortmundandrsquos injury list. Turkey midfielder Nuri Iahin and defender Marcel Schmelzer are definitely ruled out, while Jakub Blaszczykowski, Erik Durm and Oliver Kirch are doubtful.

Others have returned, but are not yet playing at 100 percent.andldquoWe didnandrsquot really want to start both Ilkay [GundoIan] and Marco [Reus] in this game, or that Ilkay would play 90 minutes.

But they seem to have come through it OK,andrdquo Klopp said in his most positive comment after the defeat at Cologne. Italian Ciro Immobile and Colombian Adrian Ramos are in shape, and each has already scored twice in the group stage.

Coach Cesare Prandelliandrsquos key weapon remains Netherlands national Wesley Sneijder, who proved he is a danger from afar after putting away two long shots against Fenerbahe this weekend. Turkey striker Burak YIlmaz has scored one in each of Galatasarayandrsquos Champions League group matches, but he is not always so consistent.

The Italian coach is struggling with issues of his own, though he was more diplomatic than his counterpart at Dortmund.andldquoWe were a bit shy in the first half,andrdquo he noted, a kind way of saying that Galatasaray did next to nothing the entire first half of the Fenerbahe derby.

andldquoSneijder is a very high quality footballer, and like I always say, he needs to get in the game more because he has an amazing talent for shooting. He showed that more in the final 20 minutes,andrdquo Prandelli said.

The whole team must come out of their shells, and for the entire match, because even in its current funk, Dortmund will not be too shy to thoroughly punish a lackluster performance, even if it only lasts half the match.The match kicks off at Galatasarayandrsquos own Turk Telekom Arena in Istanbul at 9:45 pm and will be officiated by Spanish referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman

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