Chelsea vs Galatasaray: Champions League – The return of Didier Drogba to Stamford Bridge
The Chelsea vs Galatasaray Round-of-16 match will take place this Tuesday, March 18, 2014 (19:45 BST). Premier League leaders Chelsea will welcome Turkish side Galatasaray to Stamford Bridge in the Champions League knock-out round second leg on Tuesday night and with the clash so fascinatingly poised, it has the makings of a great tie.
Chelsea did not have the best of preparations to the clash as the Blues suffered a disappointing loss at the hands of Aston Villa in the weekend. Manager Jose Mourinho will certainly be demanding a better performance from his side on Tuesday night and given the Portuguese tactician’s fine record in the competition, one can expect the Chelsea side to be up for the game.
Galatasaray have also stuttered a bit in their domestic league recently and head into the clash on a patchy run of form. That being said, Roberto Mancini’s men will be quietly confident of their chances of causing an upset following their resolute performance against Chelsea in the first leg and will rely on know-how of former Blues hero Didier Drogba to help plot the downfall of Mourinho’s side.
Mohamed Salah and Nemanja Matic will not be available for selection as the duo are cup tied while Ashley Cole also looks set to miss out after failing to recover from a knock he received a fortnight ago.
Petr Cech will start in goal and will be shielded by the solid defensive combination consisting the likes of Branislav Ivanovic, John Terry, Gary Cahill and Cesar Azpilicueta.
Mourinho will have the luxury of a lot of options in midfield, despite the ineligibility of Salah and Matic. Frank Lampard and Ramires look the most likely centre midfield pairing but the duo of John Obi Mikel and David Luiz will also be in contention, while Oscar looks set to be deployed in the playmaker’s role.
Eden Hazard will surely start on the left while it will be a battle between Willian and Andre Schurrle to win a place on the right flank. Samuel Eto’o has returned to full fitness and will most likely lead the line for Chelsea ahead of Fernando Torres and Demba Ba.
Roberto Mancini will still be without the services of injured duo Emre Colak and Aydin Yilmaz while the likes of Salih Dursun and Veysel Sari are ineligible for the clash.
Uruguayan international Fernando Muslera will be starting in goal for the Turkish side while Alex Telles, Aurelien Chedjou, Hakan Kadir Balta and Emmanuel Eboué will be the most likely back four, with Semih Kaya also in contention.
Mancini made a tactical change in the first leg where he replaced Izek Hajrovic with Yekta Kurtulus and the move proved to be successful. Therefore, Kurtulus could start the game ahead of Hajrovic with Felipe Melo, Selcuk Inan and playmaker Wesley Sneijder most probably completing the midfield.
The dangerous Burak Yilmaz will be leading the line for Galatasaray but all eyes will surely be on his strike partner and Chelsea legend Didier Drogba, who makes a return to Stamford Bridge for the first time since memorably guiding the Blues to European glory in 2012.
Chelsea (Probable XI): Cech; Azpilicueta, Terry, Cahill, Ivanovic; Hazard, Ramires, Lampard, Oscar, Willian; Eto’o
Galatasaray (Probable XI): Muslera; Telles, Chedjou, Balta, Eboué; Inan, Melo, Kurtulus, Sneijder; Yilmaz, Drogba
Chelsea: W D W W L
Galatasaray: W D D W D
26/02/2013 Galatasaray 1-1 Chelsea
Chelsea vs Galatasaray Prediction
Chelsea head into the clash as favourites for the tie because of the away goal they managed in the first leg allied by the fact that the Blues have an imperious record at Stamford Bridge under Jose Mourinho. Galatasaray, on the other hand, have a very poor record on their travels, having won only 4 times in 19 outings away from home.
However, that being said, Galatasaray are a very dangerous side who can certainly cause problems to Chelsea. In Wesley Sneijder and Burak Yilmaz, Mancini possesses world class players but the most telling contribution could be of the man whom Chelsea fans adore, Didier Drogba. Although already 36, the Ivorian is still a big threat and the likes of Terry and Cahill will have to be at their best to stop the striker.
Chelsea seem likely to invite Galatasaray to attack them early on in the game, considering they hold the advantage, and will look to exploit the Turkish side on the break. In the likes of Eden Hazard, Oscar, Willian and Samuel Eto’o, Mourinho possesses a group of players who can certainly do a lot of damage on the counter.
The Champions League is very unpredictable and even a single goal for either side can change the complexion of the game. Chelsea do look too strong for Galatasaray though and should claim a hard-fought victory. The Chelsea vs Galatasaray match will end in a 2-1 win for the Blues.
Chelsea vs Galatasaray TV Schedule
The Chelsea vs Galatasaray match will be televised on FOX Sports 1 (USA) at 12:45 PM Pacific. For all other countries check LiveSoccerTV.