Turkish Football News

Galatasaray face Lokomotiv Moscow in CL opener

Galatasaray ready for Lokomotiv Moscow in Champions League opener

The Lions are back in the Champions League and are roaring to go against Russia’s Lokomotiv Moscow tonight.

Super Lig champions Galatasaray will take on Russia’s Lokomotiv Moscow tonight in their first UEFA Champions League appearance this season. The match will kick off at 8 p.m. local time at Galatasaray’s Turk Telekom Stadium in Istanbul.

Both teams are returning to the UEFA Champions League after a period of absence – a lengthy one, in the case of the Russian club – and, in an even-looking Group D, each will be seeking a positive start.

The Istanbul team is at this stage for the first time since 2015-16 – their fourth successive group campaign – while Lokomotiv is in the group stage for the first time in 15 seasons. The Lions of the Bosporus has played 52 Champions League matches at home, won 21 games and lost 14.

Away clubs held sway in the sides’ only past fixtures, in the 2002-03 UEFA Champions League first group stage – when current coaches Fatih Terim and Yuri Semin were again in charge of Galatasaray and Lokomotiv, respectively.

Galatasaray scored twice in the final 20 minutes to win 2-0 in Moscow in the first leg, but Loko bounced back with a 2-1 victory in Istanbul in the penultimate round of fixtures – all the goals again coming in the last 20 minutes.

That helped the Russian club finish second behind a Barcelona side who won every game; Galatasaray finished fourth.

The Lions have drawn their last three home European games 1-1. They have won only one of their last nine continental fixtures in Istanbul, drawing five. They’ve also lost their last three home fixtures against Russian visitors and have not won a home match in four attempts. That 2002 victory at Lokomotiv is their sole success in eight games overall, home and away.

Galatasaray is the only team from Turkey to have reached a European Cup semifinal, in 1989.