Before every Arsenal fixture, we’ll bring you a Scouting Report on the Gunners’ next opponents.
Arsène Wenger's side face Napoli on Saturday in the Emirates Cup, so to find out more we asked tactical expert Michael Cox and journalist Edip Adanir for their views.
Whereas the other two visiting clubs at the Emirates Cup have changed their coach and undergone an overhaul of their squad, it’s been a much quieter off-season for Galatasaray. Fatih Terim remains as coach, and the major transfer business has involved securing the permanent signings of Felipe Melo and Umut Bulut, who both had successful loan spells.
Such inactivity is understandable - Galatasaray’s big spending came in January, when they recruited Didier Drogba and Wesley Sneijder. The recruitment of two star attacking players caused some tactical problems for Terim, especially considering Burak Yilmaz was the Champions League’s top goalscorer at the time of their arrival.
If he continues with his narrow 4-3-1-2 system, Galatasaray may dominate the centre but become overloaded down the flanks, especially with two attack-minded full backsMichael Cox
Having previously favoured a narrow 4-4-2, and initially attempted to use Sneijder on the left of midfield, Terim switched to a 4-3-1-2 for the second half of 2012/13. This allowed Sneijder to be used in his favoured No 10 role, with Drogba as the target man, and either Yilmaz or Bulut playing a more energetic role alongside.
In the 4-3-1-2, tough-tackling holding midfielder Melo now sits solidly in front of the defence, with two excellent Turkish midfielders used either side - the calm, composed club captain Selcuk Inan, and the technically gifted but hard-working Hamit Altintop.
However, Terim can vary his system, and in Sabri Sarioglu and Nordin Amrabat he possesses two talented wingers if he switches to 4-4-2 or 4-2-3-1.
Sarioglu’s relationship with ex-Arsenal full back Emmanuel Eboue is occasionally excellent, while on the opposite flank, the presence of former Liverpool winger Albert Riera at left back underlines Terim’s love of attacking.
Terim is a fearless coach who favours attacking football, but his adventurous nature means his centre backs sometimes lack protection. If he continues with his narrow 4-3-1-2 system, Galatasaray may dominate the centre but become overloaded down the flanks, especially with two attack-minded full backs. With a squad boasting great strength in depth, however, Galatasaray are well equipped for two matches in the space of two days.
Fatih Terim has been with Galatasaray for many years and has got experience and is a respected elite manager.
Galatasaray always play positive football in an attacking style. Terim and Arsène Wenger have the same philosophy and both teams play in a similar way.
Galatasaray always play positive football in an attacking style. Terim and Arsène Wenger have the same philosophy and both teams play in a similar way
Burak Yilmaz is one to watch. He was top goalscorer in Europe last season and, along with Fernando Muslera, has stayed at the club despite interest from other clubs. I think they are expecting to improve this season.
All of the players, especially Emmanuel Eboue, are really looking forward to coming to the Emirates. Eboue has been talking about it for a long time, saying that he can't wait.
Felipe Melo has signed permanently now and plays just in front of the defence and is quite strong. Terim insisted that he was bought because he knows Turkish football and can be relied upon.
I'm expecting an entertaining game with both teams scoring. It's a great experience for Galatasaray and hopefully we'll see a friendly game with some great football on show.Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 4 Aug 2013