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Galatasaray - Match Preview


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The Match
Chelsea prepare to lock horns with Galatasaray in the second leg of their Champions League Last 16 at Stamford Bridge with the game kicking off today at 7.45pm UK time. The two sides meet again after the first leg played three weeks ago in Istanbul with the tie’s score stand at 1-1 on aggregate. Fernando Torres opened the scoring back then at the Turk Telekom Arena – giving the Blues a vital away goal – before being pegged by Aurelien Chedjou’s goal leaving the tie still in the balance.

All eyes will no doubt be on the returning former Chelsea hero Didier Drogba to Stamford Bridge where he is expected to be given a warm reception. The Ivorian spent 8 years at West London and helped the side to win major trophies – Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup – from 2004 to 2012. Much of the talk in the press conferences yesterday were about the striker and Drogba has said he is looking forward to the occasion but wants to be professional and do a job for his current club. Mourinho also joined in and paid a glowing tribute to his former player and in fact, the club is looking to mark his return with a special pre-match presentation, similar to what they did for Michael Ballack when the German returned to Stamford Bridge with Bayer Leverkusen two years ago.

Mourinho’s men come into this game on the back of a shock defeat to Aston Villa on Saturday, which saw their Premier League lead at the top cut down to just 4 points. He will be keen to get his side back onto winning ways and regain the momentum which saw the Blues won 12 of their 17 matches in all competition including just 1 defeat prior to last weekend ahead of crucial run-in.

With Arsenal to come this Saturday, Chelsea will want to put this tie to bed as early as possible to conserve their energy for the London derby. The aforementioned shock result aside, the Premier League leaders have been performing solidly and consistent over the past 3 months and should boast enough quality to get past Galatasaray but must not get complacent as the Turkish side did knocked out Juventus in the group stage earlier with a draw in Turin and win in their own ground, proving there is threat within that side to keep an eye on.

In contrast, Roberto Mancini’s side has suffered an indifferent form over the past month winning just 2 of their last 7 matches in all competition and drawn the other 5 but have lost just 1 of the previous 23 games overall. However, it is worth noting that Galatasaray have only won 4 of their last 19 away matches. Mancini is expected to setup his side rigidly and impose their physical strength on the home side, looking to a nick a goal or two on the break or set pieces utilizing their key players such as Drogba, Wesley Sneijder and Burak Yilmaz.

If Chelsea want to be in this Friday’s draw hat for the Champions League quarter finals, they would need to be professional to see off Galatasaray as the home result against Basel back in September should serve as a reminder of the dangers of any complacency.

Past Meetings (all in Champions League)
26th February 2014 – Galatasaray 1-1 Chelsea (Last 16 First Leg)
20th October 1999 – Galatasaray 0-5 Chelsea (Group Stage)
28th September 1999 – Chelsea 1-0 Galatasaray (Group Stage)

Team News
Mourinho will make a change to the starting XI that played against Aston Villa on Saturday. Nemanja Matic is ineligible to play for the team having featured for Benfica in the competition this season and the same applies for Mohamed Salah having also played for Basel during group stage.

Samuel Eto’o and David Luiz are back in contention after missing the weekend’s game as the latter trained on Monday having recovered from a groin injury. Ashley Cole, however, is expected to miss out after not training yesterday with an injury problem.

With suspensions looming domestically for both Ramires and Willian, the Brazilians could retain their starting position in order to keep others fresh ahead of the weekend's league game with Arsenal.

Provisional Squad: Cech, Schwarzer, Blackman, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Luiz, Kalas, Azpilicueta, Mikel, Ramires, Lampard, Willian, Schurrle, Hazard, Oscar, Eto’o, Ba and Torres.

Mancini could be forced to make changes to the XI that started the first leg few weeks ago. Fernando Muslera and Semih Kaya are both doubtful for the game while Aydin Yilmaz, Eray Iscan and Emre Colak will miss the game through injury. Centre back pairing Hakan Balta and Aurelien Chedjou are dealing with minor knocks and will be assessed before the game.

Provisional Squad: Muslera, Ceylan, Telles, Chedjou, Zan, Kaya, Eboue, Burdisso, Balta, Riera, Melo, Kurtulus, Sneijder, Inan, Gulselam, Jarovic, Altintop, Sarioglu, Drogba, Yilmaz and Bulut

Stats and Facts
1. Chelsea have won 2 and lost 1 of their 3 European home matches against Turkish oppositions.
2. Galatasaray have not won any of their last 8 trips to England in Europe - D3 L5.
3. Chelsea have won six and drawn one of their seven home games in European knockout rounds since a 1-0 loss to Manchester United in the 2010/11 UEFA Champions League quarter-finals. (via UEFA)
4. José Mourinho masterminded Chelsea's sole round of 16 defeat between 2006/07 and 2011/12, against an FC Internazionale Milano side also featuring Wesley Sneijder in 2009/10. (via UEFA)
5. In UEFA competition Chelsea have lost the tie twice on the six occasions they have drawn their first leg away from home. Those four aggregate victories came after a 1-1 away draw, most recently against Liverpool in the 2007/08 semi-finals when they prevailed 3-2 at home after extra time. (via UEFA)
6. Galatasaray have won just two of the ten European ties in which they have been held at home in the first leg. (via UEFA)
7. Roberto Mancini has won 6 and lost 4 of his 12 matches against Chelsea (D2) - with Lazio, Manchester City and Galatasaray - in all competitions.
8. Jose Mourinho is unbeaten against Roberton Mancini in 5 meetings - W2 D3.
9. John Obi Mikel and Ramires are both a booking away from a suspension.
10. Fernando Muslera and Felipe Melo are both a booking away from a suspension.
11. Aurélien Chedjou and Selçuk İnan have not missed a minute of Cimbom's European campaign

Match Odds (Final Result/Full Time)
Chelsea WIN - 4/11
DRAW - 100/30
Galatasaray WIN - 7/1

*Odds obtained from SkyBet*

Match Coverage (TV, Radio, Twitter)
Depending on where you are from, you can watch the match in the following channels:

United Kingdom: UTV, BBC Radio 5 Live, STV Scotland, ITV 1
United States: Fox Sports 1 USA, Fox Soccer 2Go
Middle East: beIN Sport
Belgium: Club RTL, 2BE, Belgacom 11+
Brazil: ESPN Brasil
India: Ten HD, Ten Action

For additional regions, you can check out the TV schedule for the match here.

There should be many match streams that can be found online if your local sports channels are not broadcasting the game or if you happen to be busy and cannot catch the game live, follow TalkChelsea on Twitter as it would provide live match commentary on the action.

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