Real v Galatasaray quarter-final key battles

Galatasaray striker Didier Drogba won Chelsea the Champions League last year
Galatasaray striker Didier Drogba won Chelsea the Champions League last year Photo: PA

Real Madrid welcome Galatasaray to the Bernabeu in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final.

Currently 13 points behind Primera Division leaders Barcelona and effectively out of contention for the league title, the Spanish champions were able to rest several key players for this tie, while their opponents fielded a full-strength side in their 2-0 victory over Istanbul Buyuksehir on Saturday to maintain a four-point lead over rivals Fenerbahce in the Turkish Super Lig.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at the some of the key battles in a match which will see Jose Mourinho's side aim to extend their 10-game unbeaten streak in all competitions and take a commanding lead into the return leg in Turkey next Tuesday.


Drogba, who made his debut in Europe's elite club competition at the Bernabeu stadium in September 2003 with Ligue 1 side Marseille, will look to exploit Madrid's weakness from set pieces. Having only scored once in six games since his move from Shanghai Shenhua at the end of January, the Ivory Coast international will be desperate to grab an away goal against a Madrid side managed by his former boss at Chelsea. He will have to overcome Ramos, a mainstay at the heart of the Madrid defence, who must deal with Drogba's physical threat and marshall a backline that conceded nine goals in the group stages.


Named UEFA midfielder of the season in 2010 after winning the treble with Inter Milan, the Holland captain must prove he can still perform on world football's biggest stage after his controversial move from the Italian giants to Galatasaray. Sneijder, who joined Inter after a disappointing spell with Madrid, will have to bypass Alonso in a holding role if he is to make his mark against his old club. While Sneijder will attempt to influence the game in the final third, Alonso's range of passing means he will try to dictate the tempo of the game from deep. It promises to be a compelling battle in the middle of the pitch between two of the world's finest midfielders.


With Ronaldo on yet another goal scoring spree - he has scored 11 in his last 10 games - Galatasaray's hopes may rest on another inspired performance from Uruguay goalkeeper Muslera, who has kept nine clean sheets in 27 games at club level this season. He will have to be at his best to shut out Ronaldo, this season's joint top-scorer in the competition with eight goals, and stop Madrid taking a step toward a record 24th semi-final appearance in the Champions League.