Relegation to the Europa League may have been a source of humiliation for Barcelona when they finished third in their Champions League group in December, but the Blaugrana will be pushing to join an exclusive group. The Europa League is the only trophy Barcelona need to join Juventus, Ajax, Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Manchester United as just the sixth team to win all of UEFA’s three main club competitions.
Barcelona’s first foray into the second-tiered tournament since 2003/04 got off to a positive start, as they beat Napoli 5-3 over two legs in the knockout play-off round, including an impressive 4-2 victory away from home. Xavi’s side are now unbeaten in eight games across all competitions, winning six, and have taken control of the fight to finish in La Liga’s top four recovering from their disastrous start to the season.
Domestically it has been a poor season for Galatasaray, but the Turkish giants have found solace in the Europa League. Expected to challenge for and potential win the title at the start of the season, Galatasaray – who only missed out on the title last year on goal difference – are currently 12th and closer to the relegation zone than they are the European places.
But in the Europa League they remain unbeaten and topped a fairly difficult group. Galatasaray were placed in Group E alongside similarly-ranked Lazio, Marseille and Lokomotiv Moscow but won three and drew three of their six games, beating each team once.
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Barcelona vs Galatasaray: Match Stats
We all know about Mr Champions League, but what about Mr Europa League? Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is someone who could be in contention for the title, enjoying himself when he does play in the competition. The former Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal striker has scored 23 goals in 45 appearances in the Europa League, with only three players managing more.
The Nou Camp is a pretty solid fortress when it comes to knockout football in Europe. Barcelona have lost just two of their last 35 home matches in the knockout rounds of major European competitions, winning 25 and drawing eight. Only Bayern Munich (2012/13) and Paris Saint-Germain (2020/21) have managed to get the better of them in that time.
13 November 2002 – Barcelona 3-1 Galatasaray – Champions League
24 September 2002 – Galatasaray 0-2 Barcelona – Champions League
19 March 2002 – Galatasaray 0-1 Barcelona – Champions League
5 December 2001 – Barcelona 2-2 Galatasaray – Champions League
23 November 1994 – Galatasaray 2-1 Barcelona – Champions League
Barcelona and Galatasaray have met each other eight times but this will be the first game outside the Champions League. The Spanish side have dominated this fixture so far with five wins, two draws and just one defeat, coming in November 1994.