Turkey’s big-spending Galatasaray out to down shaky Schalke



AGENCIES

Published — Wednesday 20 February 2013

Last update 20 February 2013 12:03 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

ISTANBUL: Big-spending Galatasaray will be looking to carry their strong Champions League group stage form into today’s last 16, first leg tie when they host a Schalke 04 side low on confidence.
The Turkish side finished their Group H campaign with wins over Cluj, Manchester United and Braga then pulled off the biggest coup of January’s transfer window by signing Dutch star Wesley Sneijder and Ivory Coast veteran striker Didier Drogba.
Having won last season’s Champions League title with Chelsea, Drogba came off the bench to score on his debut in Friday’s 2-1 win at bottom side Akhisar Belediye to go seven points clear in the Turkish Super Lig Table.
“These investments will pay off,” said Galatasaray president Unal Aysal, who is eager to bring Champions League success to Istanbul.
“The revenue from the Champions League will cover the costs.” Galatasaray have lost just once at the Ali Sami Yen Sports Complex Arena in the league this season and Fatih Terim’s team are looking for four European wins in a row against Schalke.
The hosts hope to reach the quarterfinals for the first time since 2001, while Schalke have reached the last eight twice in recent campaigns, in 2010/11 when they were semifinalists, and in 2007/08.
Although Schalke won their group, including an impressive away win at Arsenal in October, they have just one victory in their last 12 matches to drop from second to ninth.
Schalke are unbeaten in Europe this season and have been boosted by the return of Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, who is fit again after suffering an eye injury.
Royal Blues’ coach Jens Keller, who took over from Huub Stevens in December, makes his Champions League debut and has been told his job is safe — until the end of the season.
Having sold midfielder Lewis Holtby to Tottenham Hotspur, in January, Schalke brought in Michel Bastos from French side Lyon and the Brazil star has scored three goals in his last three games, including both goals at Mainz.
“Even before I made the switch from Lyon to Gelsenkirchen I knew about the quality of this Schalke side,” said Bastos.
“The team have the ability to solve the current problems.” While Schalke showed some fighting spirit to twice come from behind on Saturday, captain Benedikt Hoewedes said his side must build on that.
“We showed morale and fought until the final whistle,” said the Germany defender.
“We now want to take the momentum with us to Istanbul.” Five of the Galatasaray team were born in Germany including midfielder Hamit Altintop who played for Schalke between 2003 and 2007.
“I played my first Champions League match while at Schalke 04 and it will be nice to face them,” said the 30-year-old.
“There are no easy games at this level.
“The draw may seem easier than it could have been, but I know the German culture: they will be a team high on discipline.
“An interesting couple of meetings lie ahead.” With a strong Turkish community in Gelsenkirchen, Galatasaray can count on some support at the Veltins Arena for the second leg in Germany on March 12.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

ABHA: Gov. Faisal bin Khalid bin Abdulaziz, Asir region, ordered the formation of a working team in Bisha to address the status of the battered woman who recently shared her suffering on social networking sites.Mohammed bin Sabrah will head the team,...
MADINAH: Madinah Gov. Prince Faisal bin Salman launched a series of charity and developmental projects during his recent visit to Khaibar Province at costs exceeding SR100 million.They included municipal projects at Khaibar, Al-Salsah and Al-Ashash M...
MADINAH: Pilgrims spend the most beautiful moments in the Prophet’s Mosque, where they pray in Riyazul Jannah (garden from the gardens of paradise) and get to greet the Prophet, peace be upon him, said the Omani pilgrim, Ahmed Nasser. “Such deeds giv...
MADINAH: A member of the Senior Scholars Council, Dr. Abdullah Al-Manieh, has called for the establishment of women’s departments at the Islamic University in Madinah in line with other universities in the Kingdom.“The Muslim woman has had her own st...
JEDDAH: The euphoria over the sudden resumption of call facility on WhatsApp in the Kingdom on Saturday was short-lived as the service was not widely available the following day. A large number of users of the popular messaging service, barring a few...
JEDDAH: Work on developing and modernizing the Kingdom’s 27 airports is ongoing and is expected to be completed within the next five years, according to Sulaiman Al-Hamdan, president of the General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA).“Our goal is tha...
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and South Korea are set to widen cooperation in the health care sector following a joint road show which underlined potential areas of cooperation and showcased world-class health facilities of that country. The event, titled “Ko...
RIYADH: The Saudi Green Building Forum (SBGF) believe that about fifty percent of the ongoing eco-friendly green building projects across the Kingdom are facing delays for not fulfilling criteria.Faisal Alfadl, secretary-general of the forum, on Satu...
AL-UQAIR: The low-quality of education in the Kingdom arises from many factors. Included among these are the complexity of the system itself, unclear educational vision, non-professional education development programs, and instability due to changing...
JEDDAH: Security authorities in Jeddah called a citizen and his wife for interrogating with them on the charges of beating their Eritrean housemaid.Makkah Police media spokesman, Col. Dr. Atti bin Attiah Al-Quraishi, said: “The Safety Center of Jedda...
AL-UQAIR: The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH) has deposited SR600 million with local banks for the Al-Uqair Development Company in Al-Ahsa, SCTNH President Prince Sultan bin Salman has said.“Saudi citizens have some equitie...
JEDDAH: A number of preachers have been arrested for using sermons to promote political ideologies, said Fahad Sulaiman Al-Khalifa of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs.He said the issue was not widespread, and the ministry reiterated that the sermon sh...
JEDDAH: A Saudi military analyst and retired brigadier, Ibrahim Al-Marie, has called for the compulsory drafting of young Saudis into the military.This is, he said, not only because the Kingdom is facing regional threats, but because of its benefits...
RIYADH: Advertisement campaigns for fake TOFEL and ILET certificates are being monitored on social media websites in an effort to halt this illegal practice. The certificates originate from Jordan and can be obtained by clients for a sum of SR2,000,...
JEDDAH: A group of young men has come up with a novel home cinema project.The project involves providing a cinema hall show for lovers of the entertainment medium by providing projector screens, sound systems and lighting devices with suitable and co...

Stay Connected

Facebook