Galatasaray have returned back to the Europa league stage after almost 6 years absence and they will be competing in the game against Lazio to reach the latter stages of the competition.
Galatasaray were in the Champions League group stages a few months back but they failed to progress into the knockout stages after finishing third in the group. This automatically gave them a Europa League spot, which is not bad considering that the winners of this competition qualify directly to the Champions League group stages for the next season.
This would be one of the few ways that the Turkish club can hope to remain in Europe next season, as their domestic form has been very poor, with Bet365 making them fifth favourites for the title.
Even after the appointment of Mustafa Denizli, the club are struggling in the table. They are only fifth after having managed just one win in the last five league matches. The solitary victory came against Sivasspor almost a month ago. Lazio are a formidable opposition for Galatasaray. The first game will be in front of their own supporters, which will give some confidence toDenizli and his team. However, Galatasaray will want to seize an early advantage since the crucial return leg is away from home.
Galatasaray were successful in the Europa League in its previous nomenclature. The UEFA Cup was won by the Turkish giants back in the 1999-00 season. This victory is still seen as one of greatest achievements by a Turkish club on the European stage. Reliving those moments will help Galatasaray finds some much-needed confidence, which can also be translated into their domestic form. The likes of Fenerbahce and Besiktas have now become the top dogs in Turkish football for the last couple of seasons. Fenerbahce have a whopping 15 point advantage over Galatasaray and Besiktas are their realistic title contenders.