Posted On Tuesday, 9th April 2013
Ghana midfielder Michael Essien is likely to be retained at the right-back position tonight as Real Madrid aim to polish off Galatasaray and ease into the Champions League semi-finals.
The Spanish giants hold a commanding 3-0 advantage heading into Tuesday’s meeting in Istanbul but much depends on the tactics to be deployed by coach Jose Mourinho.
The tactician used the Ghanaian player at the unusual position in the first-leg in Madrid and Essien came out with flying colours.
Essien managed to blunt Galatasaray’s attack which normally starts from their left wing.
But with the Ghanaian in full form he prevented the Turks from attacking while also contributed to scoring Real’s second goal.
Essien is likely to be retained by Mourinho in that position as the Turkish leaders’ hopes will largely rest on former Mourinho charges Didier Drogba and Wesley Sneijder.
Coach Fatih Terim’s attack-minded game plan backfired for Galatasaray in the first game, as Madrid’s scoring trio of Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, and Gonzalo Higuain all took full advantage of its exposed defense.
The last time Madrid lost by three goals or more in the Champions League was in 2008-09 when it fell 4-0 at Liverpool.
Barring a similar upset by the hosts, nine-time champion Madrid is on course to reach its 24th semifinal.