Manchester United travel to Turkey to take on Galatasaray on match day five of the UEFA Champions League having already secured their progression into the next stage of the competition with two games still left to play. Manager Sir Alex Ferguson is expected to tinker with his squad as they are guaranteed to reach the last sixteen of the competition as the top team from Group H, and is the only team left in the competition with an all win record.
United have made it a habit of coming back from losing positions this season and match day four saw them go down 1-0 again to SC Braga in Portugal only for Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez to score three goals in the last ten minutes to give them a 3-1 victory and secure their qualification into the next round.
Ferguson himself acknowledged that he expects much more defensive solidity form his side and admitted that it is unacceptable for his team to concede goals early on in a match. The match against the Turkish giants will represent the first time that United travel to the Turkish capital to face the Red and Gold in over 15 years, and the first match day of this year’s competition saw United register a slender 1-0 victory over Gala courtesy of a goal from Michael Carrick.
Having lost their last match in the Premier League to lowly Norwich City and surrendered their status as league leaders to the ‘noisy neighbors’ Manchester City, Manchester United will look to bounce back strongly against Fatih Terim’s side in Istanbul ahead of a tough schedule, both at home and in Europe.
But even the manager knows that his side will not have it easy the fans of Galatasaray are known to be extremely hostile and he acknowledged they are the best set of supporters in Eastern Europe.
The atmosphere that the fans create when they play home matches can give the biggest of superstars goose bumps, but Fatih Terim will have to get his side to perform well and try and squeeze out a result as they look to progress into the final sixteen of the competition with CFR Cluj and SC Braga also in contention to secure the last qualifying place from the group.
However, getting a result against United won’t be easy and Gala will have to play out of their skin to
stand even a chance.