Galatasaray vs ZalgirisUEFA Champions League, KO: 19:30 Aug 2, 2023, Rams Global Stadium
Galatasaray welcome Zalgiris to the Rams Global Stadium for the second leg of their UEFA Champions League second round qualifier. After earning a 2-2 draw in the first meeting, the Turkish giants will be confident of claiming the upper hand in front of their fans.
It was a keenly contested encounter in the first meeting as Galatasaray claimed a 2-2 draw in Lithuania. They came from behind to lead thanks to quick-fire goals from Abdulkerim Bardakci and Halil Dervisoglu but were unable to hold on and conceded a equaliser deep into added time.
Galatasaray have been making a splash in the transfer market with high profile signings like Wilfried Zaha and Mauro Icardi making their way to Istanbul. However, last week’s clash was their first competitive defeat in five matches.
The good news for Galatasaray is that the Rams Global Stadium is often a hostile atmosphere for visiting teams. Okan Buruk’s men are unbeaten in their last nine home matches, claiming seven wins in that run.
Zalgiris showed great character to earn that draw in the first leg having trailed for much of the second half. They were made to chase the game after Mathias Oyewusi’s opener was cancelled out by Galatasaray and needed a late equaliser from Donatas Kazlauskas.
Things have been quite erratic for Zalgiris lately with just two wins in their last five matches across all competitions. They followed up the draw in the first leg with a 2-1 home defeat to Panevezys in a domestic fixture last weekend.
A slight positive for Zalgiris is that they have impressed on their recent travels, winning their last five away matches across all competitions. However, those have mostly been domestic fixtures with the Rams Global Stadium considered one of the most difficult grounds in Europe.
How the bookies view it
The bookies have installed Galatasaray as overwhelming favourites with a home win priced at 1/9 by bet365. An unlikely victory for Zalgiris is valued at 33/1 by Coral, who is also offering 8/1 for a draw.
Head to head
Last week’s clash was the first ever meeting between Galatasaray and Zalgiris.
Players to watch
Galatasaray have plenty of quality going forward with the likes of Nicolo Zaniolo, Dries Mertens and Halil Dervisoglu all expected expected feature. All three men could combine to help the Turkish giants predict over 1.5 goals at 2/9 with William Hill.
There is also some defensive quality at the back for Galatasaray, who have kept clean sheets in their last four competitive matches at the Rams Global Stadium. Victor Nelsson and Abdulkerim Bardakci should continue in central defence and can lead the hosts to a clean sheet at 8/15 with bet365.
Anything else catch the eye?
Galatasaray are expected to be dominant on Wednesday and could be tipped in the -1 handicap market at 15/8 with Paddy Power. That dominance could also see them win both halves at 21/20 with William Hill.
With all the goals scored after the break in the first leg, the second half could be tipped as the highest scoring half at 11/10 with William Hill.
This UEFA Champions League match between Galatasaray and Zalgiris will be played on Aug 2, 2023 and kick off at 19:30. Check below for our tipsters best Galatasaray vs Zalgiris prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.