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All You Need to Know Ahead of St. Johnstone vs Galatasaray

St. Johnstone travel away to Istanbul today to play Turkish giants Galatasaray in the first leg of our Europa League tie. The game will be played at the Fatih Terim Stadium, the home of rivals Istanbul basaksehir which holds 17,319 people seated rather than their home stadium - the Turk Telekom Stadium.

How do I Watch?

If you are in the UK the game is on BBC Scotland at 19:00 as I'm sure most Saintees will know by now with the announcement yesterday gaining a large celebration among our supporters as it was confirmed that there will be an accessible way to watch St. Johnstone's biggest European game of a generation.

[St. Johnstone announced this yesterday]

Just How Good are Galatasaray?

Whilst they are not quite as good as they once were, with no Hagis or Sneijders, Galatasaray still have an incredible side worth millions upon millions. They only missed out on winning the Turkish Super Lig last season by one goal difference and are Champions League/Europa League regulars.

[Galatasaray battle with PSV]

However, they come into this game off the back of a 7-2 humiliation at the hands of PSV and have recently announced that star players Feghouli and Falcao have been told to leave the club due to their current financial situation.

Following their defeat to PSV in the Champions League Galatasaray have invested into the squad with the most notable signing being former Crystal Palace left-back Patrick Van Aanholt who misses out tonight due to fitness concerns along with Emre Akbaba and Omar Elabdellaoui who are also ruled out through illness/injury.

Galatasaray are still a top team and have a squad laden with internationals at the highest levels with Arda Turan and Muslera amongst the best they have to offer. They will certainly be Callum Davidson's hardest test as a manager to-date.

[Muslera in action vs PSV]

Do Saints Have a Full Squad?

St. Johnstone manager Callum Davidson has almost got his entire roster to pick from, with the only player missing out on the trip to Turkey being Craig Bryson. The 34 year old has a knock which has prevented his involvement.

[Jason Kerr and Callum Davidson talking to the Turkish media]

Stevie May, Chris Kane and Callum Booth have all come over minor setbacks and are well in contention for a start tonight.

What Does This Game Mean?

Tonight's match is the first leg of the Third Qualifying Round of the Europa League. Should we win tonight, or pull off a draw/narrow defeat we would put ourselves in good stead for the second leg at McDiarmid Park. Away goals are no longer in play.

If we do manage to overcome Galatasaray over both legs we would go into the Europa League Play-off, guaranteeing European Group Stage football.

[St. Johnstone train ahead of the clash tonight]

What are the Likely Line-ups?

St. Johnstone












Formation: 523

Whatever Callum Davidson does play I'm sure he will make the right call as he usually does, we will 100% start with the usual back 5 and 8 or 9 players are guaranteed to start. Booth or Devine, Craig or Davidson and May or Kane are the biggest questions to be answered.













Formation: 442

Galatasaray have a very strong line-up and with their squad being so deep they can field multiple possible starting 11s but this is the one which I think they will start with tonight.

Match Prediction

I don't know if it's me believing twitter hype, getting a little over-excited or the fact there just seems to be something in the air but I think this will be a close game. This Saints side never gives up and has surprised us so many times already.

[Callum Davidson and his side hard at work]

While I don't think we will come away with a win, I don't think we will get a hiding either. It will a tough match but never say never. Always keep the faith in St. Johnstone and while we may be entering hell tonight, it will feel like heaven watching us tussle with European giants on TV.

Prediction: 2-1

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