UEFA Cup: Galatasaray Ready for Hamburg in Germany

AHMET BOB TURGUTCorrespondent IMarch 11, 2009

Despite losing Portugese International defender Fernando Meira to Zenith team in this week, Galatasaray still thinks that they could beat Hamburg in Germany in the UEFA Cup last-16 first-leg match on Thursday.

Since the rookie coach Bulent Korkmaz took over the coaching duties, with a little help they have won their last three matches in the Turkish Turkcell Super League and beaten Bordeaux in their second-leg UEFA match.

With all the Turkish football fans who lives in Hamburg and around Germany, Galatasaray will feel like they are at home in Hamburg.

The fans in the stadium will be a plus for Galatasaray.

On the other hand, Hamburg coach Martin Jol admits his side must create a comfortable cushion for themselves.

"You definitely need to be one or two goals ahead if you want to survive over there," he said.  "We have got to be tight at the back and make the difference with a goal up front.  We will have to push ourselves to the limit."

Hamburg has a German-born Turkish player on their roster.  His name is Tunay Torun. He is only 19 years old and he says he would like to score against Galatasaray if he plays.

Galatasaray will have to strengthen the defense in Germany in my opinion.  After selling Meira to Zenith for cash, Galatasaray will have trouble in the backfield.

With Servet Cetin hurt, there is only one stopper on the team—Emre Asik, who is 36 years old.  If he gets hurt, the player who would replace him is only 18 years old—Semih Kaya, who has not seen action yet.

Look For Bulent Korkmaz to use Hakan Balta in the defense against Hamburg.

Striker Milan Baros is suspended for this match and Korkmaz will start with Shabani Nonda.  Harry Kewell is ready and will play in midfield alongside with  Lincoln.

Galatasaray's game plan should include the second-leg match.

They should be very conservative. Even a draw will be good for the second-leg match in Hamburg.

Galatasaray's lucky charm Korkmaz—former captain, now coach of the team—is all of sudden on top of the world with Galatasaray.

Not bad for a guy who was home watching the matches in his living room about twenty five days ago!

Korkmaz, who was not even welcome to the Galatasaray club facilities, now leads the team against Hamburg in the UEFA Cup..