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Oct 21, 2021 at 8pm UK
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Preview: Lokomotiv Moscow vs. Galatasaray - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Lokomotiv Moscow vs. Galatasaray - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Thursday's Europa League clash between Lokomotiv Moscow and Galatasaray, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Galatasaray will seek to cement their position atop the Europa League Group E rankings when they travel to Lokomotiv Moscow for Thursday evening's battle.

Fatih Terim's side played out a goalless stalemate with Marseille in their most recent continental clash, while the hosts suffered a 2-0 defeat to Lazio.

Match preview

While an opening-day draw with Marseille certainly represented a positive result for Lokomotiv, the Russian outfit were unable to repeat the trick against Lazio on matchday two as they slumped to a 2-0 defeat against the Serie A powerhouses.

Toma Basic and Patric both struck in the opening 45 minutes to kill the game off before the half-time whistle blew, with that result leaving Lokomotiv rock bottom of Group E and fighting an uphill battle to keep their continental run going.

After a 2-1 defeat to Rostov proved to be the final nail in Marko Nikolic's coffin before the international break, ex-Koln boss Markus Gisdol oversaw a 2-2 draw with Rubin Kazan in his first game in charge at the weekend, as Lokomotiv came from two goals down to rescue a point through Fedor Smolov and Rifat Zhemaletdinov.

A largely solid start to the season has since turned into a dampening winless run for Lokomotiv, who have drawn four and lost two of their last six games in all competitions - conceding twice in each of their last three - with Gisdol certainly under pressure to inspire an immediate turnaround in fortunes.

Ahead of his first home game in charge of Lokomotiv, Gisdol can take confidence from the fact that the Russian outfit have scored in all six of their home games so far this season, but Galatasaray know a thing or two about finding the back of the net themselves.

The action on the pitch between Galatasaray and Marseille was nothing to write home out, but the two impassioned sets of supporters made headlines with incidences of violence in the stands, which led to play being halted in the first half before order was restored.

Terim's side only chalked up six shots and had 35% of the possession on the day, but a point against Les Olympiens saw them hold their position at the top of the rankings following an eye-catching 1-0 win over Lazio in the opening matchweek.

Two clean sheets from two against Lazio and Marseille is certainly something to be admired, and Galatasaray's defensive resilience once again came to the fore at the weekend against Konyaspor in the Super Lig, as Mostafa Mohamed's fourth-minute strike saw Terim's side run out 1-0 winners.

The visitors' third consecutive league success also saw them stretch their unbeaten run across all tournaments to four games, although they have only chalked up one win from their last six away from home - drawing four of those encounters before meeting with fellow stalemate specialists Lokomotiv.

Lokomotiv and Galatasaray are renewing hostilities after facing off in the group stage of the 2018-19 Champions League, during which the Turks claimed a dominant 3-0 home win before suffering a 2-0 defeat on their travels.

Lokomotiv Moscow Europa League form:
  • D
  • L

Lokomotiv Moscow form (all competitions):
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • D

Galatasaray Europa League form:
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • D

Galatasaray form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W

Team News

Lokomotiv left-back Nair Tiknizyan returns from suspension for the visit of Galatasaray - a timely boost with Maciej Rybus sidelined - while centre-backs Tin Jedvaj and Murilo Cerqueira are also out through injury.

The hosts' midfield ranks are also depleted with the absences of Stanislav Magkeev and Anton Miranchuk, while midfielder Alexis Beka Beka will miss the trip to Turkey next month if he is booked here.

Chelsea loanee Tino Anjorin will be eyeing a return to the first XI here, with fellow youngster Maksim Petrov at risk of losing his place in the final third.

Meanwhile, Galatasaray defender Marcao will take his rightful place in defence amid a lengthy domestic suspension, but Sacha Boey and Arda Turan's injuries are expected to rule them out.

Midfielder Berkan Kutlu also ought to return to the midfield after sitting out the win over Konyaspor through suspension, while goalkeeper and captain Fernando Muslera is one booking away from his own European ban.

Brentford loanee Halil Dervisoglu was given the nod up top for the Marseille draw, but Mohamed has put himself into contention for the striker's jersey with his quickfire winner at the weekend.

Lokomotiv Moscow possible starting lineup:
Guilherme; Zhivoglyadov, Pablo, Barinov, Tiknizyan; Beka Beka, Kulikov, Maradishvili; Zhemaletdinov; Anjorin, Smolov

Galatasaray possible starting lineup:
Muslera; Yedlin, Nelsson, Marcao, Van Aanholt; Kutlu, Antalyali; Morutan, Cicaldau, Akturkoglu; Dervisoglu

We say: Lokomotiv Moscow 0-1 Galatasaray

Both Galatasaray and Lokomotiv have posted far too many draws for each manager's liking so far this season, and we would not put it past another share of the spoils here.

However, neither Lazio nor Marseille could break down Terim's side in the earlier rounds, and we are struggling to see the hosts breaking Galatasaray's resilience, while the Turks have the know-how in the final third to claim that all-important winner.

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