FC Barcelona have their sights set on the Europa League trophy and will try to take one step closer to the title when they host Galatasaray at Camp Nou in the first leg of their last-16 tie on Thursday evening.
The Catalan giants have recorded four straight wins in all competitions and haven’t tasted defeat in their last eight games since their loss to Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey back in January. Moreover, Barcelona have also suffered just two defeats in their previous 35 European knockout games at Camp Nou.
Barcelona are in fine form as they welcome Galatasaray to Camp Nou for their first leg Europa League Round of 16 tie on Thursday. They come into this tie after beating Napoli 5-3 on aggregate in the Round of 32. On the other hand, Galatasaray finished top of their group to make it this far in the competition but have been struggling in the domestic league lately.
Galatasaray are still unbeaten in the 2021-22 Europa League, grabbing 12 points from a possible 18 as group stage winners despite facing teams like Marseille, Lazio, and Lokomotiv Moscow.
Galatasaray languishes in 12th place in the Super Lig in the current season, a whopping 32 points behind league leaders Trabzonspor.
FC Barcelona: Barca continue to be without the injured Sergi Roberto, Samuel Umtiti and Ansu Fati for this game, while Gavi misses out through suspension and Dani Alves is ineligible for the Europa League.
Galatasaray SK: Galatasaray are without goalkeeper Fatih Ozturk while a groin strain means that Arda Turan will be unable to line up against his former side.
Barcelona have faced Galatasaray eight times previously in Europe (W5 D2 L1), winning each of the last three meetings. Barcelona won 3-1 in their last encounter, a Champions League group stage match in 2002-03, with goals from Dani García, Gerard López and Geovanni.
Galatasaray have never won at Camp Nou against Barcelona, avoiding defeat just once – a 2-2 draw in the Champions League in 2001-02. Galatasaray’s only win in 16 away matches against Spanish sides (D4 L11) came against Mallorca in the UEFA Cup in 1999-2000.
Barcelona’s possible starting lineup:
Ter Stegen; Dest, Araujo, Pique, Alba; Pedri, Busquets, De Jong; Traore, Aubameyang, Torres
Galatasaray’s possible starting lineup:
Pena; Elabdellaoui, Marcao, Nelsson, Van Aanholt; Pulgar; Morutan, Kutlu, Cicaldau, Akturkoglu; Mohamed
Date/Time: Thursday, March 10, 2022, 9 pm CET
Venue: Camp Nou, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Referee: Benoit Bastien (FRA)
VAR: Delajod Willy (FRA)