The Turkish title holders have not won on their travels in the competition proper since September 2002, when they prevailed 2-0 at PFC Lokomotiv Moskva. Including their narrow 1-0 reverse at Manchester United FC in September, they have lost eight and drawn one of nine away games since then.
The teams’ 1-1 draw in Istanbul on 23 October pre-empted the departure of CFR coach Ioan Andone, who left the club by mutual consent 24 hours later. Paulo Sergio has since taken over.
CFR lost 2-1 to Manchester United in their first Group H fixture at the Stadionul Dr. Constantin Radulescu but can take heart from 1-0 wins against FC Slovan Liberec and FC Basel 1893 in the qualifying rounds.
This is CFR’s first home encounter with Turkish opposition but Galatasaray have a long history against teams from Romania – and a disappointing record from previous visits to the country.
Their continental debut came against FC Dinamo Bucuresti in the 1956/57 European Champion Clubs’ Cup preliminary round, and ended in a 4-3 aggregate defeat after they lost the first leg 3-1 in Bucharest.
Galatasaray went down 5-1 on aggregate to FC Steaua Bucuresti in the 1988/89 European Cup semi-finals. That Steaua side included Gheorghe Hagi, who went on to serve Galatasaray as player and coach.
Galatasaray finally won in Romania at the sixth attempt on their most recent visit – 3-0 at Dinamo in the 2009/10 UEFA Europa League group stage courtesy of goals from Harry Kewell, Shabani Nonda and Mehmet Topal. Gokhan Zan, Hakan Balta and Sabri Sar?oglu all played.
The visitors’ overall record in Romania is W1 D1 L4.