Tonight at 18h55: Galatasaray - Club Brugge

It's do or die for Club Brugge at Galatasaray tonight. A win means the Belgian outfit features in Europe in the new year. Find out all there is to know prior to the game here.

In the past couple of months, Simon Deli has become one of the mainstays at Club. The 28 year old Ivory Coast defender stands out with secure defending and dangerous heading. A desperate Slavia Prague saw its favourite defender head to Bruges in the Summer Mercato, backed by a.o. a great performance against KRC Genk in the round of 32 of the Europa League. Deli left in style, however, winning the Czech league title, and captaining the team to the Europa League Round of 8.

Galatasaray's right back Mariano comes with a lot of international experience. The Brazilian earned his marks at Guarani, and featured at a.o. Atlético Mineiro and Fluminense before heading for Europe. From 2012 to 2015, he joined les Girondins de Bordeaux, only to follow up with Spanish Seville, where he won the UEFA Europa League having beaten Liverpool in May 2016 (1-3). Mariano has been at Galatasaray since 2017.

Tonight's game in Istanbul will be lead by Slovak ref Mr. Ivan Kružliak. An elite referee, he will be joined by his compatriots Mr. Tomaš Somolani and Mr. Branislav Hancko (assistant refs) and Mr. Filip Glova (fourth official). The VAR in charge will be Mr. Massimiliano Irrati, backed by Mr. Stefano Alassio.

A crucial encounter for Blauw-Zwart tonight. Turkish champions Galatasaray made the trip to Bruges on what turned out to be an interesting CL opening day. The hosts set up camp well, creating a number of chances. It had to call upon a focused Mignolet too, however, denying Babel on the break. Still, more was in it for Club than what it reaped in the end: 0-0. Club also proved a fiesty opponent in the games at PSG and at Real Madrid, proving it has its rightful place in the Champions League. A win at the Ali Sami Yen Stadium means the team is sure of European football after the Winter break, but a draw could also do for Club, with the final decision falling on the last match day. Ruud Vormer is out suspended against Galatasaray, but has joined his team to Istanbul to root for his colleagues.

Galatasaray hosts the game against Blauw-Zwart at the Türk Telekom Stadium, which is renamed the Ali Sami Yen Stadium on European nights. With one point so far, the Turkish champions are bottom of Group A, one point behind Club Brugge. Coach Fatih Terim's team will be very eager to keep the three points at home tonight, so as to maintain its chances to progress in Europe. Galatasaray has not been able to score yet this Champions League campaign, and is hampered by a number of injurees. Tonight's game will not see a.o. Radamel Falcao, Florin Andone, Christian Luyindama and Steven Nzonzi. Games in Turkey are never easy, and backed by its frenetic crowd, Galatasaray gave both Real Madrid and PSG a handful, losing by the narrowest of margins on both occasions (0-1). A thrilling game awaits for sure!

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