Barcelona v Galatasaray
Lokomotiv v Club Brugge
Remarkably, all four teams are still in with a chance of qualifying for the next phase.
Barcelona are definitely through and any of Club Bruggge, Lokomotov Moscow and Galatasaray, can join them in Friday’s draw for the second stage.
Galatasaray travel to Barcelona knowing victory will not guarantee their progress to the second stage of the Champions League.
If Belgian outfit Club Brugge beat Lokomotiv Moscow they will go through behind Louis Van Gaal’s men
Galatasaray coach Fatih Terim, is remaining focused on the substantial task of defeating Barca. His side are currently displaying poor form, emphasised recently by the humiliating 6-0 defeat at the hands of bitter rivals Fenerbahce.
No Turkish team has ever triumphed against Barcelona at the Nou Camp and Terim has been forced to travel without Umit Davala, Umit Karan and Emre Asik – all missing through suspension. It is likely he will play Turkish international Hasan Sas following a return from injury.
Terim said: “The objective is to win and give ourselves a chance of reaching the next round, but most of all, I want my players to perform with pride and passion.”
Barcelona are looking for a clean-sweep of victories in the group and coach, Louis Van Gaal, has dismissed rumours he will field an experimental side.
“We want the win and the financial benefit which comes from taking three points. Plus there is the prestige of winning every group game”, he said.
An indication of the respect Van Gaal is treating the game with is his naming of only two players from the reserve team in the squad.
However, injuries and suspensions mean Van Gaal will be without the services of Marc Overmars, Luis Enrique, Patrik Anderssonand Phillipe Christanval.
In the group’s other game, Trond Sollied has injury troubles.
Norwegian forward Rune Lange is out until January after back surgery, while compatriot Bengt Saeternes is missing with a hip injury. Also missing are Ukrainian midfield player Serhiy Serebrennikov and Slovakian defender Marek Spilar.
For Lokomotiv, Pimenov is doubtful, but defender Oleg Pashinin midfield player Narvik Sirkhaev return.