UEFA Champions League preview: Real Madrid v Galatasaray
Real Madrid should be fully rested and ready to go when they host Galatasaray in their UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg.
The Spanish champions' head coach Jose Mourinho picked Mesut Oezil, Angel di Maria, Xabi Alonso and Sami Khedira among the substitutes in Real Madrid's 1-1 draw away to Real Zaragoza on Saturday.
That decision should give Real a genuine advantage at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday in a tie they are already hot favourites for.
While Galatasaray played a full-strength side in their 2-0 victory over Istanbul BB on Saturday as they continue to fight for the Turkish Super Lig title, Real Madrid were able to rest players because they are effectively out of contention in La Liga.
It will be a tough trip to Spain's capital for Galatasaray, as their hosts are on a 10-game unbeaten streak, during which they have scored 24 goals.
Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 11 of those and will be the key man to stop for Galatasaray's head coach Fatih Terim.
Despite this, Terim's main task will be convincing his team that giving up possession will be their best chance of success against Real.
Mourinho's side are so devastating on the counter-attack that Galatasaray will play into their hands if they attack too much.
The reigning Turkish champions should look back at the last match Real lost, 1-0 to Granada in February.
In that game, Real had 72 percent of possession and 17 shots to four but Granada won, despite not having a shot on target, thanks to an own-goal from Ronaldo.
The worry for Terim in terms of executing such a strategy will be Galatasaray's defence. His team have conceded in all but one match in the Champions League this season, letting in an average of 1.13 goals per game.
Galatasaray's hopes may, therefore, rest on Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera, who has kept nine clean sheets at club level this season.
Real Madrid meanwhile will be confident of taking a step toward a record 24th semi-final appearance in the European Cup/Champions League.
Galatasaray have not gotten past the quarter-final stage of Europe's top continental competition since 1988/89, which remains their best performance to date in the competition.