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Group C

Galatasaray’s return to the Champions League after a three-year absence sees them come up against a Bordeaux side that last played in the competition seven seasons ago.

After suffering a poor start to their domestic season, Galatasaray coach Erik Gerets is aware that a good showing tonight is essential.

“We haven’t started well in the league, we know that, but I’m happy that everyone in the squad realises that this is not an ordinary game,” said Gerets.

The Turkish team are playing their home Group C matches at the Atatürk Olimpiyat Stadium rather than their own Ali Sami Yen due to the increased 56,000 capacity.

“Some people have said Bordeaux are the easiest opponents we will face in the group but I see them as being a high-quality side who are well organised,” Gerets added. “That said, we’re playing at home in front of maybe 70,000 fans and obviously want three points.”

Gala will be without Orhan Ak, Tolga Seyhan and Ergün Penbe to injury and been forced to rest Hakan Sükür after the veteran striker returned from international duty with an infection.

With regard to his team selection, Gerets was giving little away ahead of the game.

“Put it this way, if it was an away game I’d be playing it differently.” He conceded.

Bordeaux have begun the season in indifferent form, but coach Ricardo Gomes believes league form will be of little significance tonight.

“We’re at the start of a new competition so what’s been happening in domestic football is not relevant,” said the Brazilian.

“What is, is that we find a way of balancing our lack of experience at this level with our strong desire to win.”

The loss of Vladimír Smicer is a blow to Bordeaux and matters aren’t helped by the absence through injury of Brazilian defender Fernando Menegazzo and young France midfielder Rio Antonio. Nonetheless, Gomes is looking forward to tonight’s encounter.

“It’s always good to play in a big stadium. I’m expecting a great atmosphere and an exciting game.”

Probable teams
Faryd Mondragón; Stjepan Tomas, Rigobert Song, Cihan Haspolatl?, Emre As?k; Okan Buruk, Hasan Sas, Mehmet Topal, Sasa Ilic, Junichi Inamoto; Necati Ates.

Ulrich Ramé; David Jemmali, Florian Marange, Marc Planus, Alejandro César Alonso; Johan Micoud, Geraldo Mauricio Wendel, Julien Faubert, Pierre Ducasse, Stéphane Dalmat; Jean-Claude Darcheville.

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