MANCINI BACKS BALE

Ahead of the Champions league match with the Spanish Giants, Galatasaray manager Roberto Mancini has stated that the addition of Gareth Bale and the recruitment of Carlo Ancelotti has made Madrid one of the best teams in the world.

Real Madrid are the favourites to get the victory and progress to the knockout stages as the group winners.

There have been in imperious form in all competitions so far. The club brought in former Chelsea and AC Milan manager Ancelotti as the replacement for Jose Mourinho, while they also spend a record £ 86 million on Bale despite having stars like Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo in the squad.

There had been talks that Man utd signed Bale in a pre-contract agreement last year, but by the looks of it these have come to nothing.

They have already beaten Galatasaray 6-1 in the reverse fixture and they are widely expected to get the three points at the Santiago Bernabeu as well. Mancini may have plans due to the presence of experienced internationals like Didier Drogba and Emmanuel Eboue in the squad. The form of Galatasaray has substantially improved after the arrival of Mancini, who was brought in to replace Fatih Terim after the former experienced a very poor run of form. The team are currently fifth in the table, but they are slowly rising up.

"I think that Madrid were strong last season and they are strong this year. You could even say they have improved because Bale has arrived and they have changed coach. We are talking about the best of the best so to play here is always difficult. I think that Carlo is one of the best coaches in Europe. He has managed the best teams. He is a composed person, a good person, things that are very good in a coach," said Mancini.

Mancini has said that they should be wary of the threat posed by different attacking players. Cristiano Ronaldo has been ruled out of the encounter.