Albiol on standby for doubtful Pepe
Mourinho cautions Real against complacency in second leg against Galatasaray
Real Madrid will be without the suspended Sergio Ramos (left) for tonight’s Champions League quarter-final second leg agaoinst Galatasaray in Istanbul. Photograph: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
Real Madrid defender Pepe is doubtful for tonight’s Champions League quarter-final second leg at Galatasaray when Jose Mourinho’s side are hoping to avoid “any unpleasant outcomes” after their 3-0 win in the first match.
Raul Albiol is on hand to partner Raphael Varane if Portugal’s Pepe fails to recover from injury with fellow centre back Sergio Ramos suspended.
“Pepe suffered a muscle injury during the Levante game and we will know tomorrow for sure if he will be on the pitch or not,” Mourinho told a news conference in Istanbul yesterday.
“But my team is made up of good players and Albiol will play in his position if Pepe can’t. I am confident that all players in my squad are capable.”
Romped to 5-1 victory
Real romped to a 5-1 victory at home to mid-table Levante in La Liga on Saturday as Mourinho left several top performers, including forward Cristiano Ronaldo, out of his starting lineup. Ronaldo still scored as a substitute.
Despite their good form and healthy first-leg lead, Mourinho has cautioned his players against complacency.
“There have been examples of teams losing the second leg 3-0 after a 3-0 victory in the first game so I warned my players to be careful . . . to avoid any unpleasant outcomes,” Mourinho said.
Mourinho said his players were looking forward to playing in front of “50,000 passionate fans” in Istanbul.
Galatasaray striker Didier Drogba, who won the Champions League title last season with Chelsea, is in good form ahead of the match having scored twice in Saturday’s 3-1 win over Mersin Idmanyurdu in the Turkish Super Lig.
Drogba joined Galatasaray in January from Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua following his departure from Chelsea last May.
Gala have seen their preparations for the match overshadowed as coach Fatih Terim is facing a lengthy touchline ban after a heated argument during the league game on Saturday.
Might make history
Terim was sent to the stands with assistants Hasan Sas and Umit Davala, which could mean Duygu Erdogan might make history this weekend as the first woman to coach a Super Lig team.
Erdogan and goalkeeping coach Claudio Taffarel are the only eligible names to coach the side if Terim and his two assistants are given a ban.