Galatasaray (GS) will face Paris Saint Germain (PSG), Real Madrid and Club Brugge in Champions League's Group A. It was not the best group GS could pick; Group G with Zenit, Benfica and Lyon would be better. But still, it is definitely not the worst group they could choose. Playing against teams like Manchester City, Liverpool and Barcelona would be the hardest for Galatasaray as those teams have complete and effective strategies that could put Fatih Terim's team in a really tough spot, but PSG and Real Madrid are having a hard time, and if you had ask me the best time to face these giants, I would say it's now.
Let's start with the first team of the group, Paris Saint Germain. After last year's disastrous campaign against Manchester United, the club's morale and confidence dropped to zero. The owners of the club are expecting a Champions League trophy from the club, but they are missing a point: gathering high-quality players does not guarantee a high-quality game. For instance, PSG has probably had one of the best squads in the Champions League for the last five years, but they could not even reach the semifinals in the competition. Added to that, Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, Edinson Cavani and Julian Draxler are currently injured, and we all know how fragile Cavani and Neymar in the recent years have become. Thus, with low morale, low strategic quality and lots of injuries, PSG could have a really hard time in Istanbul if Galatasaray prepares themselves properly.
On the other hand, this summer was probably the worst preseason in Real Madrid's history. They were humiliated by their archrival Atletico Madrid with seven goals, and Zidane's team even struggled against a completely renewed Fenerbahçe in the Audi Cup. The team lost their identity after Cristiano Ronaldo and are still looking for a savior to replace the Portuguese superstar. The question is, can Eden Hazard deliver? The pressure on him is immense, and the Belgian does not have the same play style as Ronaldo. Zidane must either expect too much from Hazard or reset his team to make a new start. Either way, it is the best time to face Real Madrid in my opinion, as the legendary club are having their worst season in the last decade.
However, the biggest problem will be, as always, the team that looks like the weakest link for the Turkish teams. In this case, it is Club Brugge and their performance will be the determining factor in Galatasaray's story. The Belgian side may also utilize the poor form of PSG and Real Madrid, and in case they beat one of them, GS's job will be much harder. Thus, without focusing on Paris Saint Germain and Real Madrid, Terim should first focus on getting at least 4 points against Club Brugge. Even though they are out of form, beating giants still require a bit of luck, but Club Brugge is different. With a proper defensive strategy combined with simple, but clear attacking options, Galatasaray may even beat Club Brugge in both games. Then, the road to the next round may start to appear.
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