Carlo Ancelotti is expecting a very different test for his Real Madrid side against Galatasaray on Wednesday than when they beat the Turkish champions 6-1 in September. With 10 points from four games, it would take something extraordinary for Madrid not to make it through to the last 16. A draw at the Bernabeu will secure both their progress and top spot. Ancelotti, though, is reading little into their comfortable win on Matchday One, with Galatasaray now led by fellow Italian Roberto Mancini.
“We want to finish top of the group,” he said, according to UEFA.com. “We have two games left and we want to win them both. We will do our best. It will be difficult because Galatasaray want to qualify. Roberto Mancini is an experienced coach. He did very well in Italy and England. Now he is starting something new and he will do very well over there, for sure.
“We are confident but not because we won 6-1 in Istanbul. Galatasaray have changed with Mancini and tomorrow's match will be completely different.”
Madrid will have to seal their progress, though, without several first-team regulars. Most notable of all, Cristiano Ronaldo suffered a thigh injury in a 5-0 win at Almeria on Saturday, while Raphael Varane, Fabio Coentrao, Luka Modric and Sami Khedira are also unavailable.
Galatasaray badly need a result in Madrid to remain on course for a place in the knockout phase. They currently sit level on points with Copenhagen and a point ahead of Juventus. Having started his reign positively with a draw at Juventus and a win over Copenhagen, Mancini has led his side to a disappointing defat against the Danish champions in the reverse fixture followed with a painful loss against fierce Istanbul rivals Fenerbahce.The former Manchester City boss is wary of handing Juventus advantage in what promises to be a decisive final game.
“We have to play well and, while we know it's going to be difficult, we are going to try,” Mancini said. “The most important game is the last group match against Juventus. For the moment, we have to play Real Madrid and if we don't do well and Juventus beat Copenhagen, they will have a better chance of qualifying than us.”
A late decision will be made on the fitness of Wesley Sneijder, with Mancini admitting that the Dutch attacking midfielder is not 100 percent fit. Goalkeeper Fernando Muslera is also a doubt, while Didier Drogba is set to return to the starting lineup after coming off the bench in the weekend win over Sivasspor.
Real Madrid (probable)
D: Arbeloa, Ramos, Pepe, Marcelo
M: Illarramendi, Alonso
Bale, Isco, Di Maria
D: Eboue, Semih, Chedjou, Riera
M: Bruma, Felipe Melo, Selcuk, Sneijder
F: Drogba, Burak
Where to watch: The Champions League Group B encounter will kick off at 2.45 p.m. ET. Coverage will be provided by Fox Sports 2, with a live stream available on Fox Soccer 2Go.