All eyes are on Didier Drogba who will face Chelsea for the first time since leaving them in May 2012. In a Galatasaray shirt, the striker will give it all in Wednesday’s Round of 16 1st leg Champions League meeting against Chelsea in front of a hostile atmosphere in the Turk Telecom Arena.
Galatasaray and Chelsea have only met on two previous occasions, Chelsea boasting a 6-0 aggregate triumph from the two-legged affair during the 1999-2000 Champions League campaign.
Didier Drogba made 341 appearances for Chelsea over the course of an eight-year spell, scoring 157 goals in the process and averaging just under a goal every other game. His very last kick for Chelsea was a penalty kick that won the West Londoners their first Champions League.
Now, the Ivorian will line up against his love on the other side of the pitch. To make it even more interesting, Didier Drogba recently insisted that if Jose Mourinho asked him to he’d surely consider a return to the English Premier League outfit. The Ivorian striker enjoyed a great relationship with the Portuguese manager at his time at Chelsea.
Chelsea’s last trip to Istanbul may have resulted in a 5-0 (6-0 on aggregate) result for the visitors, but the context of this fixture has changed tremendously in the 14 years since. Galatasaray now boast an attacking side full of star players like Didier Drogba, Wesley Sneijder and Burak Yilmaz.
Roberto Mancini’s side have also scored an average of 2.18 goals per home game in the current Turkish Super Lig season and sit second in the table, four points behind leaders – Fenerbahce. The Turkish giants are facing a similar run in to the title as Chelsea are facing in the English Premier League this term.
Even though it’s an emotional game for Didier Drogba, Chelsea will still be favourites to win the Champions League meeting.