Chelsea vs Galatasaray Preview: Team News, Likely Line-Ups, Key Man + Prediction
Chelsea entertain Galatasaray at Stamford Bridge this evening in the second leg of their Champions League last 16 tie. Here’s a preview with team news.
Chelsea entertain Galatasaray at Stamford Bridge this evening in the second leg of their Champions League last 16 tie.
The Blues came away with a very-useful 1-1 draw in the first leg three weeks ago, so they are the clear favourites to book their place in the quarter finals.
Victory would not only ensure that the West Londoners make it through to the last eight, but it will also keep Jose Mourinho on course to becoming the first manager to win the European Cup with three different teams having already lifted it with Porto and Inter Milan.
Chelsea warmed up for the game with a disappointing 1-0 defeat away at Aston Villa on Saturday night and although they remain four points clear at the top of the Premier League table, they’ll be looking to bounce back this evening.
The game sees Didier Drogba make his first return to Chelsea since leaving the club in 2012 with his last kick for the club being the penalty that won them the Champions League, so the Ivorian is certain to get a warm welcome tonight.
Galatasaray arrive at the Bridge with a poor record in England having never won any of their previous eight away games against a Premier League side – losing five and drawing three – so they’ll have to make history if they want to reach the quarter finals.
Mourinho has been boosted by the return to fitness of David Luiz after he recovered from a groin problem that’s seen him miss the last two games. The Brazilian is unlikely to break up the John Terry – Gary Cahill partnership at the back, but he may come in to the midfield in place of Nemanja Matic, who’s ineligible.
However, Frank Lampard and John Obi Mikel are also pushing for recalls, while Ramires may be deployed a little further forward to offer more protection.
Ashley Cole remains out with a knee injury so Cesar Azpilicueta will continue at left-back, but Mohamed Salah is also ineligible having already featured for FC Basel in the group stages.
Roberto Mancini is expected to start Yekta Kurtulus ahead of Izet Hajrovic in midfield, but he’ll be unable to call upon the services of Aydin Yýlmaz, Gokhan Zan and Emre Colak as they all remain sidelined through injury.
Didier Drogba: Drogba is set for an emotional return to Stamford Bridge and while the 35-year-old may have lost some of the attributes that made him one of the best in the business, he’s still going to be a real handful for Terry and Cahill at the back.
Chelsea 3-1 Galatasaray: While the Turks are a dangerous outfit we don’t see them being a match for Chelsea at home.
What team would you like to see Mourinho put out and what’s your score prediction? Share your views below.
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