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Champions League | Group Stage
Sep 20, 2023 at 5.45pm UK
Rams Global Stadium
FC Copenhagen
2 - 2
Boey (86'), Tete (88')
Ziyech (39'), Oliveira (77')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Elyounoussi (35'), Goncalves (58')
Lerager (11'), Jelert (52'), Diks (73'), Meling (82')
Jelert (73')

Preview: Galatasaray vs. Copenhagen - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Champions League clash between Galatasaray and Copenhagen, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Turkish giants Galatasaray welcome Danish champions Copenhagen to RAMS Park for their opening group-stage fixture in the 2023-24 Champions League on Wednesday night.

The two teams are considered as the outsiders in Group A that also includes six-time European champions Bayern Munich and three-time winners Manchester United.

Match preview

Galatasaray's Mauro Icardi celebrates scoring their second goal with Dries Mertens on February 5, 2023© Reuters

Following an unwanted three-year hiatus from the Champions League, Galatasaray are back in the big time this term after successfully navigating their way past FK Zalgiris, NK Olimpija Ljubljana and Molde in the qualifiers, beating the latter 5-3 on aggregate in the playoff round at the end of last month.

Okan Buruk's side have indeed made an impressive start to the new campaign and they are enjoying an unbeaten 10-game streak in all competitions, winning each of their last six games and scoring 15 goals in the process.

The reigning Turkish Super Lig champions regrouped after the international break and secured a 4-2 home victory over Samsunspor last weekend, with a brace from Kerem Akturkoglu and goals from Abdulkerim Bardakci and Mauro Icardi helping Gala move to within two points of leaders Fenerbahce.

Buruk, who played for Galatasaray when they won the UEFA Cup and UEFA Super Cup in 2000, has talked up the excitement that is building at the Turkish club ahead of their return to the Champions League. However, with both Bayern Munich and Man United joining them in Group A, the prospect of reaching the knockout rounds for the first time since 2013-14 seems a tall order.

The 2013-14 season also marks the only previous occasion when Galatasaray and Copenhagen met for home and away fixtures in the Champions League group stage, with the Turkish side running out 3-1 winners on home soil before losing 1-0 to their Danish counterparts on the road almost a month later.

Kamil Grabara in action for FC Copenhagen on October 5, 2022© Reuters

Like Galatasaray, Copenhagen had to battle their way through Champions League qualifiers to reach this season's group stage for the second successive year, beating Breidablik, Sparta Prague and Rakow Czestochowa over two legs.

The Lions claimed a record-equalling 15th Danish top-flight title last season and have since made a strong start to the new campaign, winning six of their opening eight league games to put them at the Superliga summit.

Jacob Neestrup's side have experienced a slight dip in form in recent weeks, though, as they have won only one of their last four games in all competitions, including a 2-2 draw played out with Nordsjaelland last weekend.

Not only will Copenhagen be seeking to rectify their overall form when they make the trip to Istanbul on Wednesday, but they will also be looking to win their first Champions League group game since December 2016; the Danish giants failed to win all six group fixtures last season against eventual champions Manchester City, Borussia Dortmund and Sevilla.

Success on Wednesday could prove challenging, though, as Copenhagen have won just one of their last 12 away matches in the Champions League, excluding qualifiers, while their opponents Galatasaray have lost only one of their last nine European games on home soil.

Galatasaray Champions League form:

Galatasaray form (all competitions):

Copenhagen Champions League form:

Copenhagen form (all competitions):

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Team News

 Ivory Coast's Wilfried Zaha is seen inside the stadium on March 29, 2022© Reuters

Galatasaray are set to be without summer signing Wilfried Zaha who has missed the five games due to injury and has only made two substitute outings since joining from Crystal Palace, while fellow new recruits Halil Dervisoglu and Eyup Aydin have not been registered in the club's Champions League squad.

Hakim Ziyech and Tanguy Ndombele – on loan from Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur respectively – made their debuts last weekend and will be pushing for their first start under Buruk on Wednesday, while Davinson Sanchez – a permanent signing from Spurs – will be looking to make his first appearance for the club after watching on as an unused substitute last time out.

Icardi has scored eight goals in as many games in all competitions so far this season, and the in-form Argentine is expected to continue up front, with 36-year-old Dries Mertens set to operate just behind in the number 10 role.

As for Copenhagen, Andreas Cornelius was forced off with an injury just 20 minutes after coming on as a second-half substitute last weekend, and the Danish striker is set to miss out on Wednesday.

Defenders Nicolai Boilesen and Davit Khocholava, who is yet to play this season, are also injury doubts for the visitors and will be assessed ahead of kickoff.

Orri Oskarsson is expected to lead the line in the potential absence of Cornelius, while midfield trio Viktor Claesson, Lukas Lerager and William Clem will all be hoping to force their way into the first XI after beginning as substitutes last weekend.

Galatasaray possible starting lineup:
Muslera; Boey, Nelsson, Bardakci, Angelino; Ndombele, Torreira; Tete, Mertens, Akturkoglu; Icardi

Copenhagen possible starting lineup:
Grabara; Jelert, Vavro, Diks, Meling; Claesson, Falk, Goncalves; Bardghji, Oskarsson, Elyounoussi

SM words green background

We say: Galatasaray 2-0 Copenhagen

Galatasaray are flying high at present and will fancy their chances of picking up all three points in their opening group fixture in front of a raucous atmosphere at RAMS Park.

Both teams will view this fixture as a must-win game if they are to cause an upset in Group A and secure a top-two finish, but we believe that the hosts boast a greater threat in attack that should help fire them to victory on Wednesday.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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Group A

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Group B


Group C

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Group D

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Group E


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Group H


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