One more week has passed in the world football, and someone has become the highest paid footballer in the Premier League, thanks to a team that fell in a ‘glorious’way to Olympiakos quite a few hours ago.
While in other parts of the world, ‘tiki-taka’ faced a domestic nightmare after beating a ‘Strong’ English side. But all those someones fade in capturing the imagination of people when compared to one particular fixture, or should we say a reunion of a kingdom with its beloved prince.
Well, as you already know we are talking about Chelsea and Didier Drogba, Chelsea play Galatasaray at the Turk Telekom Arena in less than twenty four hours. It will be a sight to remember and to see the most beloved son of the Bridge playing against his own home team in front of his adopted home crowd.
It is a known fact that Chelsea haven’t had enough of Drogba, since they have miserably failed to replace a goal scorer of his stature. Here’s a preview of what will be an emotional reunion with Drogba, against his new team who did well to keep the Serie A Champions Juventus out of the knockout stages.
Besides this, José Mourinho will also come face to face against another one of his old darlings in Wesley Sneijder, who plays an equally key role in the Galatasaray side who have never reached past the Quarter-Final stages of the competition. While José Mourinho believes his team are outsiders in the Champions League, Roberto Mancini’s men will try their best to repeat their first leg win against Real Madrid from last season.
Last Five Games (All competitions)
Chelsea 0-0 West Ham United
Manchester City 0-1 Chelsea
Chelsea 3-0 Newcastle United
West Bromwich Albion 1-1 Chelsea
Chelsea 1-0 Everton
Gaziantepspor 0-0 Galtasaray
Galatasaray 6-0 Bursaspor
Galatasaray 3-0 Eskisehirspor K
Antalyaspor 2-2 Galatasaray
Galatasaray 1-0 Besiktas
Total Games: 2 Chelsea Wins: 2 Galatasaray Wins: 0
The Champions of Munich have since been on a rough ride in the Champions League, the previous season, they had the not so appealing honor of playing and winning the UEFA Europa League, by virtue of being ousted at the Group stage of the Champions League, that became a record since Chelsea were the first European Champions to accomplish that feat. Mourinho believes his “little ponies” who sit at the top of the table above big horses in the domestic league are “Outsiders” in the Champions League, so does that make us “Outsider little ponies” José?
With the pivot man Matic and Winger Salah ousted out of contention for a playing spot since they have played for other teams as well this season, Mourinho has a good chance of tipping his toes in the back-up waters in one of those positions, with Mikel tipped to come back in the team alongside Ramires- the workhorse. Expect Torres to start the game but see certain of Eto’o around as well. Willian is expected to take his right position and Hazard-the maverick playing on left. Cole might be playing as well, but you can never say with José. Similarly, the ‘fatigued’ Oscar might have one more game to play. Apart from that, the back four will remain intact in front of Cech.
Musler will be keeping the Goal for the Home side, with Eboue, Kaya and Chedjou in front of him for sure. Sneijder, Yilmaz (fit again) and ‘their’ very own Drogba will be playing for the home team for sure.
It will be interesting to see how well can Mancini cope with Hazard who has to be contended by Emmanuel Eboue. They need some of the ‘tracking-back-matter’ for their wingers considering the fact that it is the stronghold of Chelsea to attack on the break with pace. Perhaps Mancini’s old team mates at City could give him a better lesson than us.
• There haven’t been many Galatasaray-Chelsea clashes to talk much about, of the two that have been there, Chelsea have won both, back in 1999.
• Chelsea’s defense is the best in the Premier League but Champions League is a different story, especially when key signing Matic won’t be playing because of being cup-tied with his former team.
• Salah shares the agony of Matic and can’t play in the Champions League this season for Chelsea.
• Otherwise, Galatasaray have lost just one of their last 19 games including all the competitions that they have played in this season.
• Chelsea have had a nasty habit of losing at-least one leg of the European competition to the Turkish Teams before sealing it on aggregate. The last defeat came against Fenerbahce in the quarter finals of the not so memorable 2007/08 season.
Date – February 26, 2014
Time – 7:45 PM GMT
Venue -Türk Telekom Arena
Referee – Velasco Carballo
Author’s Verdict – Chelsea 2-1 Galatasaray