We look ahead to Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League clash at Old Trafford with our Manchester United vs Galatasaray prediction and preview. Can the Red Devils bounce back from their defeat to Bayern Munich?
Manchester United vs Galatasaray: The Quick Hits
- Manchester United are predicted to get their Group A campaign up and running on Tuesday, with the Opta supercomputer giving them a 65.2% chance of victory over Galatasaray.
- The Red Devils have suffered as many defeats in their last 13 Champions League games at Old Trafford (six), as they did in their previous 80 there in the competition.
- Bruno Fernandes has recorded an assist on seven of his last eight Champions League appearances. Over Man Utd’s last two seasons in the competition (2021-22 and 2023-24), he has as many assists (seven) as the rest of their players combined.
There was a time when a trip to Old Trafford – known as the ‘Theatre of Dreams’ to Manchester United players – was the stuff of nightmares for away sides. That has not been the case lately, however, with the Red Devils approaching Tuesday’s crucial UEFA Champions League tussle with Galatasaray having suffered back-to-back home losses in the Premier League.
As was the case after their 3-1 defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion, Erik ten Hag’s side were jeered by their own fans following Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Crystal Palace, with the Dutchman coming under pressure after overseeing United’s worst-ever start to a Premier League season, taking nine points from seven matches. He will hope a return to European action provokes a response from his misfiring squad, but United are already in need of points in Group A.
A Casemiro double and Rasmus Højlund’s first United goal were not enough on Matchday 1 as the Red Devils lost 4-3 to group favourites Bayern Munich. Taking April’s humiliating UEFA Europa League defeat at Sevilla into account, United have lost consecutive matches in continental competition, and they could now suffer three straight European defeats for the first time since 2013.
Tuesday’s game will be United’s first home Champions League outing since a 1-0 defeat to Atlético Madrid saw them exit at the last 16 stage in 2021-22. They have suffered six losses in their last 13 Champions League games at Old Trafford (five wins, two draws), as many as they recorded in their previous 80 (57 wins, 17 draws).
If United are to turn the corner, Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford will have vital roles to play. Fernandes has assisted a goal on seven of his last eight Champions League appearances, recording as many assists (seven) as every other United player combined throughout their last two participations in the competition (2021-22 and 2023-24).
Rashford, meanwhile, has averaged a goal every 112 minutes across his previous 14 Champions League appearances at Old Trafford (eight goals). Among all players to play 10 home games in the competition for United, only Ruud van Nistelrooy has a better minutes-per-goal ratio at Old Trafford (87).
Ten Hag is still battling a lengthy injury list, with defenders Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Luke Shaw, Lisandro Martínez and Tyrell Malacia among those sidelined. Sergio Reguilón is also a doubt for Tuesday’s game, so midfielder Sofyan Amrabat may have to deputise at left-back again, as he did against Palace.
United’s struggles might have Turkish champions Galatasaray visualising a route to the last 16. Okan Buruk’s team were trailing København 2-0 entering the 86th minute on MD 1, but goals from Sacha Boey and former Leicester City loanee Tetê salvaged a 2-2 draw. That was the first time Galatasaray had recovered from two goals down to avoid defeat in the Champions League since beating Real Madrid 3-2 in a quarter-final first leg in April 2001.
On the domestic front, Galatasaray showed further powers of recovery on Saturday, maintaining their unbeaten start to the Süper Lig season with a 2-1 comeback win over MKE Ankaragücü.
Wilfried Zaha scored Galatasaray’s equaliser, and he will be eager to impress on Tuesday after being limited to two substitute appearances in the Premier League – totalling 28 minutes – during a two-year spell with United between 2013 and 2015. He subsequently netted three times in 13 league games against them after rejoining Crystal Palace.
Zaha could be one of several familiar faces in Galatasaray’s lineup. They named seven former Premier League players in their squad against København, with Zaha joined by Davinson Sánchez, Hakim Ziyech, Lucas Torreira, Tanguy Ndombélé, Tetê and Angeliño. Dries Mertens and Mauro Icardi – who went viral for shooting wide when Kerem Aktürkoğlu passed to him from a penalty last week – should lead their attack.
Manchester United vs Galatasaray Head-to-Head
Man United and Galatasaray are not unfamiliar foes, having met on six previous occasions in European competitions.
Galatasaray have only won one of those matches (three draws, two defeats), though that victory did come in the teams’ most recent meeting in November 2012, when Burak Yılmaz’s goal guided them to a 1-0 home win in the Champions League group stage.
United are unbeaten in their three previous home games against Galatasaray, however, drawing 3-3 in a Champions League qualifier in October 1993 before triumphing 4-0 in December 1994 and 1-0 in September 2012, with both of those wins coming in group-stage encounters.
No Turkish side has won an away Champions League game against English opposition since Beşiktaş triumphed 1-0 at Old Trafford in November 2009.
Since then, Turkish teams have lost on all five of their Champions League trips to England, with Galatasaray responsible for three of those defeats and Bursaspor and İstanbul Başakşehir losing one apiece.
United approach Tuesday’s match having suffered back-to-back home Premier League defeats for the first time since losing to Liverpool and Manchester City in October and November 2021, in what proved to be Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s final two home league games in charge.
Across all competitions, Ten Hag’s team have lost five of their last eight matches (the other games ended with two wins versus Nottingham Forest and Burnley in the Premier League, as well as an EFL Cup victory over Crystal Palace), going down to Tottenham, Arsenal, Bayern, Brighton and Palace while conceding 15 times during that run.
Galatasaray, meanwhile, have gone unbeaten through their 14 competitive games this season, winning 11 and drawing three.
They have won their last four matches on the road, a run which includes three Süper Lig games and August’s 3-2 Champions League qualifying win at Molde.
Opta Power Rankings
The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.
Ahead of kick-off on Tuesday night, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.
Manchester United vs Galatasaray Prediction
Despite United’s domestic struggles, the Opta supercomputer makes them firm favourites to pick up three points on Tuesday.
Across 10,000 match simulations ahead of kick-off, United were victorious in 65.2% of scenarios. That leaves Galatasaray with a 15.2% chance of victory and a 19.6% likelihood of earning a draw.
In its overall Champions League predictions, the supercomputer gives United a 67.84% chance of reaching the last 16, though their MD 1 defeat at Bayern has seen their chances of topping Group A cut to 10.36%.
Galatasaray qualified from Group A in 22.5% of simulations. With Bayern given an 85.57% chance of topping the group and København only progressing in 12.18% of scenarios, Tuesday’s game might go some way to deciding who advances.
Manchester United vs Galatasaray UCL Squads
Manchester United: Altay Bayındır, Tom Heaton, André Onana, Victor Lindelöf, Harry Maguire, Lisandro Martínez, Tyrell Malacia, Sergio Reguilón, Raphaël Varane, Diogo Dalot, Luke Shaw, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Jonny Evans, Sofyan Amrabat, Mason Mount, Bruno Fernandes, Christian Eriksen, Casemiro, Jadon Sancho, Facundo Pellistri, Scott McTominay, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Rasmus Højlund, Antony.
Head Coach: Erik ten Hag
Galatasaray: Fernando Muslera, Atakan Ordu, Günay Güvenç, Jankat Yılmaz, Angeliño, Davinson Sánchez, Kaan Ayhan, Victor Nelsson, Abdülkerim Bardakcı, Eren Paşahan, Ali Yeşilyurt, Ali Turap Bülbül, Kazımcan Karataş, Sacha Boey, Kerem Demirbay, Hakim Ziyech, Sérgio Oliveira, Lucas Torreira, Beknaz Almazbekov, Berk Kizildemir, Hamza Akman, Efe Akman, Tanguy Ndombélé, Kerem Aktürkoğlu, Mauro Icardi, Dries Mertens, Wilfried Zaha, Tetê, Barış Alper Yılmaz, Baran Demiroğlu, Recep Dilek, Cédric Bakambu.
Head Coach: Okan Buruk