Champions League Preview: 18th March 2014
Champions League Preview with all the latest football news for the Chelsea v Galatasaray clash from the Always Back Winners Team……plus…..
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Chelsea v Galatasary (19.45 ko)
Didier Drogba has warned he will not spare his old club Chelsea any sentiment when he returns to Stamford Bridge on Tuesday in the Champions League.
The 36-year-old ended a distinguished career in west London by scoring the decisive penalty in the dramatic 2012 Champions League final victory against Bayern Munich at Allianz-Arena in Germany.
Now, he heads back to his former stomping ground with his new club Galatasaray and is determined to send the Turkish giants through to the last eight of Europe’s premier club competition.
The last-16 tie is finely poised at 1-1 after the first leg and the Ivory Coast veteran has admitted to mixed emotions ahead of the return fixture.
“With all the respect that I have for this club, for the fans and for the players, I might not celebrate, but if we win I’ll be happy,” said Drogba, who scored 157 goals in 342 appearances for Chelsea. “I’m really happy to come back and to see some familiar faces.
“It’s a big game. The Champions League is a big competition and it means a lot for my team. I’ll find a way to play.”
The former Marseille targetman added: “It’s very difficult to play against Chelsea, but it’s not going to be difficult for me to put myself into the competition mode.
“Now I belong to Galatasaray. I need to be professional. “Of course there will be emotions. Like the first leg to see my ex-team-mates and also the Chelsea fans in the stadium was special.
“But then there was the game and the game as you could see was tough, was good, with high intensity. I think it’s going to be the same tomorrow.”
Galatasaray have lost only one of their last 23 games in all competitions but have won just four of 19 away fixtures all season.
Aydın Yılmaz (broken ankle), Gokhan Zan (hamstring) and Emre Colak (knee) are all ruled out for the visitors because of injury.
Ramires and Willian are free to play despite their domestic dismissals at Aston Villa on Saturday.
Ashley Cole (knee) did not train on Monday but David Luiz (groin) did so ahead of the match at Stamford Bridge, with the tie finely poised at 1-1.
David Luiz could replace the cup-tied Nemanja Matic in central midfield. Mohammed Salah is also ineligible for Chelsea, having played for Basel earlier in the competition.
Blues manager Jose Mourinho said that while Drogba is not the same player he was 10 years ago, he is “still one of the best strikers in the world – that’s for sure”. The Portuguese believes the second leg will be as tightly fought as the first.
A win or a score draw of 2-2 or more would see Galatasaray progress. The Turkish side’s manager Roberto Mancini compared his side’s situation to the one in which they found themselves at the end of the group stage.
Then, a 1-0 win over Juventus saw them advance at the Italians’ expense. “We did a miracle in the group because it was really difficult to go through,” explained Mancini. “Chelsea have a small advantage.
I don’t know if it will be enough to score one goal. We will see what happens.”