An emotional night for former Chelsea player Didier Drogba, but the usual battle for a place in the quarter final of the Champions League for both Chelsea and Galatasaray. The Turkish giants now under the hands of Roberto Mancini, Jose Mourinho’s predecessor at Inter Milan, aims to achieve a result in the 1st leg of the Round of 16 which will give them hope for the return in west London on March 18. Catch the live streaming here.
The game is scheduled for an 8.45 pm CET (1.15 am IST Thursday morning) kickoff.
Chelsea travel to the Turkish capital off the back of a fairly routine win against Everton. Galatasaray, on the other hand, were embroiled in a frightening battle both on and off the field, having won 1-0 against their local rivals Besiktas.
The Galatasaray meeting with Chelsea pits together the top scoring African players in the history of the Champions League with Didier Drogba (42 goals) and Samuel Eto’o (29).
1- This is the second consecutive season in which Galatasaray have reached the knockout stages of the Champions League. The Turkish giants were eventually knocked out by Real Madrid in the quarter finals last season.
2- Galatasaray have only lost one of their last seven Champions League home games (4 wins, 2 draws), that was against Real Madrid in this season’s group stages (1-6).
3- Galatasaray have conceded 14 goals in the Champions League this season, the highest tally among the 16 teams who have reached the knockout stages.
4- Didier Drogba has scored or assisted 62.5% of Galatasaray’s goals in the Champions League this season.
5- Wesley Sneijder has scored three goals in his last four Champions League games at home.
1- Chelsea have won their two previous competitive encounters with Galatasaray, both in the Champions League group stages in 1999/00 (6 goals for, 0 against).
2- The Blues are the only English team to have beaten Galatasaray on their own soil in the Champions League, back in October 1999 (0-5). It’s the Blues’ biggest away win the competition.
3- Chelsea have reached the knockout stages of the Champions League for the 10th time in the last 11 seasons.
4- Jose Mourinho’s men are unbeaten in their last six Champions League knockout games (4 wins, 2 draws).
5- Chelsea have only conceded three goals in the Champions League this season, the best defensive tally alongside Atletico Madrid.
6- Drogba scored 34 goals with Chelsea (5 with Marseille and 3 for Galatasaray). He’s Chelsea’s top scorer in the competition.
7- Fernando Torres has scored five goals in his last four Champions League starts.
Galatasaray 0 Chelsea 5 (Flo 2, Zola, Wise, Ambrosetti), Champions League, October 1999
Chelsea 1 (Petrescu) Galatasaray 0, Champions League, September 1999
Jose Mourinho said,”I like to play against the best and Galatasaray are the Turkish champions. As for Drogba, we will have to do our job because we know he will want to do his, which is to score goals. It is a strange feeling to play him and we have to try to forget it.” After claiming the Champions League two years ago, last season saw them prevail in the Europa League – so can Chelsea have their sights set on memorable Europe hat-trick under Jose Mourinho?