Schalke vs Galatasaray – Tuesday, November 6, 20:00GMT/21:00CET – Arena auf Schalke, Gelsenkirchen, Germany
The relief was palpable in the faces of Schalke players, staff and management. Die Knappen left Istanbul with a very important point in the bag.
There were quite a few in the Schalke camp that felt that the Royal Blues should have walked away with more than just the one point. But even just the one point was a good result for Schalke, and since then the Royal Blues have built on the defensive foundation laid by that game.
Schalke conceded just two goals in the last two games. Schalke held high-flying RB Leipzig to a 0-0 draw and then conceded one each in the Pokal triumph over Köln and the 3-1 victory against Hannover 96. Furthermore, the victory against Hannover took Schalke out of the relegation zone.
That balance between domestic struggles and Champions League success has been an odd one for Schalke this season. The goalless draw in Istanbul left Schalke on five points, one ahead of their Turkish opponents and two behind section leaders Porto.
With the standings in mind, Galatasaray need to get a positive result in Germany to not fall significantly behind Schalke and group leaders Porto. To do that Gala need to improve from their 2-2 draw against Fenerbahçe on the weekend.
Galatasaray head coach Fatih Terim would later blame the referee for the result. “He always decided wrong, which led to some ugly scenes after the match,” Terim told the media. It is the sort of critique used by a coach to deflect from his very own problems.
Tactically, Galatasaray have been poor this season. Cimbom have not won a match in four games and often appear sluggish, slow and without ideas. The forwards, in particular, have struggled to find the net, which overall is bad news against a Schalke side that has rediscovered its form thanks to a strong defensive foundation.
Schalke vs Galatasaray – Players to look out for:
Alexander Nübel #35 – Schalke
Goalkeeper Ralf Fährmann’s injury in the warmup against Werder Bremen only caused a brief headache for Tedesco. After all, in Alexander Nübel Schalke have one of the most promising goalkeeper talents in Germany available on the bench. The 22-year-old was not to blame for Schalke’s defeat against Werder and showed no nerves throughout the 90 minutes. “We have no worries when Alex instead of Ralf is in goal,” Heidel and Tedesco told the media. Nübel has since justified the trust as the keeper has conceded just two goals in the games against Galatasaray, RB Leipzig, Köln (DFB Pokal) and Hannover 96.
Henry Onyekuru #21 – Galatasaray
The Nigerian international winger has already set the Turkish League alight with his blistering pace after signing on loan from Everton for the season. The former Dakar Aspire academy graduate has passed through the KAS Eupen farm team in Belgium – where he scored 22 goals and assisted a further nine – spending last season on loan at Anderlecht, and has already scored two league goals in his first nine appearances – struggling with injuries lately he, nonetheless, remains Galatasaray’s dangerman and has already been linked with a move to a big club in Western Europe.
Schalke vs Galatasaray – Match Stats
- Galatasaray came out on top when the teams met in the 2012/13 UEFA Champions League round of 16. A 1-1 draw in Istanbul left the tie in the balance, but the Turkish side – coached then, as now, by Fatih Terim – progressed to the last eight thanks to a 3-2 success in Gelsenkirchen.
- Schalke have won only one of their last six UEFA Champions League games in Gelsenkirchen (D2 L3), conceding 18 goals in that run.
- Schalke are, however, unbeaten in seven home European fixtures (W4 D3).
- That 2013 loss to Galatasaray aside, Schalke have won their other two home games against Turkish clubs, keeping clean sheets in both matches.
- Cimbom have therefore lost their last five European away matches, and ten of the last 12 (D2). Their last European victory outside Turkey was that 3-2 success at Schalke in the 2012/13 UEFA Champions League round of 16; they are without a victory in 14 matches (D2 L12).
- Galatasaray have, however, won four of their last seven away games against German clubs (D1 L2) – although the most recent contest ended in a 4-1 loss at Dortmund in the 2014/15 group stage.
Futbolgrad Network Prediction: Schalke vs Galatasaray – 2-0
Schalke vs Galatasaray – Lineups
Nübel – Nastasic, Sané, Stambouli – Schöpf, Harit, Rudy, Serdar, Caligiuri – Uth, Embolo
Head Coach: Domenico Tedesco
Muslera – Ömer Bayram, Serdar Aziz, Maicon, Linnes – Donk, Badou – Onyekuru, Belhanda, Garry Rodrigues – Gümüs
Head Coach: Fatih Terim
Manuel Veth is the owner and Editor in Chief of the Futbolgrad Network. He also works as a freelance journalist and among others works for the Bundesliga and Pro Soccer USA. He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in History from King’s College London, and his thesis is titled: “Selling the People’s Game: Football’s transition from Communism to Capitalism in the Soviet Union and its Successor States,” which is available HERE. Originally from Munich, Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently is located in Victoria BC, Canada. Follow Manuel on Twitter @ManuelVeth.