Our prediction for this Champions League match:
Galatasaray will be aiming to kick off their Champions League qualifying campaign in style when they take on Zalgiris at LFF stadionas on Tuesday evening. Okan Buruk’s men did well to win their 23rd Super Lig trophy last season, with the team putting an end to the negative trend and, no doubt, they have big ambitions for the elite competition as well. The club chiefs did well to keep hold of Dries Mertens in the summer transfer window, with pacey wingers Wilfried Zaha and experienced centre-forward Cedric Bakambu joining the team.
Even though Mauro Icardi is no longer part of the team, away win should be considered as Okan Buruk has a number of high-profile players to choose from. The Lithuanian champions, on the other hand, set up a meeting with Galatasaray by beating Struga in the double-header. The Lithuanian championship is in a full swing, but Zalgiris will have a mountain to climb in Tuesday’s encounter. There are no fresh injury worries in the home team.
Highlighted Player (Dries Mertens):
Dries Mertens is a Belgian football player born on the 6th of May 1987 in Leuven. Mertens started his football career in the youth of RSC Anderlecht and AA Gent. In season 2005/2006 he made his debut for the first team of AA Gent.
After playing for AGOVV, FC Utrecht and PSV Mertens got transferred to Napoli for approximately 9.5 million euro. Mertens made his debut for the Belgian national team in October 2010 and played over 40 games for the national team already. Mertens played during World Cup 2014 and EURO 2016 for Belgium.
Mertens is a right attacking midfielder, which can play as a forward as well. Mertens is known for being a very small fast player, which has the ability to get past several defenders and deliver a cross to his team mates. In his career Mertens didn’t win any big prizes yet. The biggest achievements of Mertens are winning the Dutch national cup with PSV in 2011/2012, the Coppa Italia and the Supercoppa in 2014 with Napoli.
Highlighted Team (Galatasaray):
Over the years Galatasaray have established themselves as one of the best teams in Turkey. The Aslanlar (the Lions) were founded back in October 1905 by Ali Sami Yen and fellow students of Galatasaray High School. Ali Sami Yen himself was the club’s first president and, as a result, he was given the club’s membership No. 1.
The Gala are one of the most successful Turkish teams and it has to be noted that they won their 21st Super Lig trophy in the 2017/2018 season. The capital club collected 75 points from possible 102, with the team finishing the season three points clear of their bitter rivals Fenerbahce. Speaking of European success, Galatasaray won UEFA Cup in the 1999/2000 season, with the team beating Arsenal on penalties in the title game.
In 2000 the Lions won UEFA Super cup as they outplayed star-studded Real Madrid 2-1 at Stade Louis II in Monaco. Galatasaray play their home games at Turk Telekom Stadi and they are well known for their yellow and red jerseys.