Real Madrid will hope to build a commanding lead when they welcome Galatasaray to the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday evening for the first leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final tie.

Jose Mourinho’s men were held to a 1-1 draw by Manchester United on home soil in the previous round, before emerging triumphant in dramatic style at Old Trafford after coming from behind following Nani’s controversial red card.

The Spanish giants will be determined to carve out an early advantage this time around, but face another tough European clash against Galatasaray.

The Turkish side are making their first appearance at the last-eight stage in 12 years, but Fatih Terim can still call on a number of players with Champions League experience.

As well as the likes of Felipe Melo, Fernando Muslera and former Arsenal player Emmanuel Eboue, Galatasaray have in their ranks two faces very familiar to Mourinho.

Former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba will lead the line for Gala and will be supported in attack by Wesley Sneijder, who won the Champions League with Mourinho at Inter Milan in 2010 and has also had a spell with Real.

Galatasaray should take confidence from successive away victories against Cluj, Braga and Schalke in this season’s European campaign, while they also won 2-0 at the weekend to strengthen their position at the top of the domestic Super Lig.

Real were held to a 1-1 draw by Real Zaragoza on Saturday and, 13 points adrift of Barcelona in the Primera Division, Champions League glory is very much the priority for the remainder of the season.

Mourinho can make history by winning the tournament with three different clubs and has dismissed talk about his future ahead of the tie against Galatasaray.


Mourinho rested the likes of Xabi Alonso, Mesut Ozil and Angel Di Maria at the weekend and is set to make changes to his side for the midweek European encounter.

Raphael Varane and Fabio Coentrao are also expected to return after missing the 1-1 draw with Real Zaragoza with slight muscle injuries.

But goalkeeper Iker Casillas will only be on the bench, despite recovering from a hand injury, meaning Diego Lopez will start in net.


Johan Elmander is in the Galatasaray squad as he steps up his recovery from a foot problem which has kept the forward out for two months.

There will be a lot of responsibility on Drogba and Sneijder to provide the team with a cutting edge, but it is Burak Yilmaz who Real should perhaps be most wary of as he is the joint highest scorer in this season’s competition with eight goals.

Engin Baytar and Aydýn Yýlmaz have not travelled with the rest of the squad.