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Champions League Preview: Galatasaray - Chelsea


Galatasaray striker Didier Drogba faces former club Chelsea in the Champions League on Wednesday for the first time since leaving the club.

Drogba is regarded as a legend by fans of the Premier League side, having clinched European glory in the competition with his final touch as a Chelsea player in the 2011-12 final against Bayern Munich.


Having scored 157 goals in 341 appearances for Chelsea, Drogba ensured a Hollywood ending at the club by converting the winning penalty against Bayern at the Allianz Arena.

However, Chelsea's fourth all-time highest scorer will be aiming to knock his former employer out of the competition when the sides meet in the last 16 at the Turk Telekom Arena.

The Ivorian has 12 goals to his name in all competitions this season, but Chelsea qualified top of Group E with the help of one of the tightest defenses in the competition.

Along with Manchester United and Atletico Madrid, Chelsea conceded just three goals in the group stage and has been breached just once in the last five Premier League outings.

The club's latest victory - a 1-0 win over Everton on Saturday - maintained the club's lead in England's top flight, but Samuel Eto'o is eager for his teammates to take one game at a time in their quest to win the double in Jose Mourinho's first season back at the club.

"We have never thought that we can't win the title, but Jose Mourinho came to Chelsea to do big things for the long run which he is trying to do," Eto'o told the club's official website.

"We players believe that it is possible but at the same time it is not our mission. Right now we are not thinking about other teams or the end of the season, we are just focused on our next game and that is Galatasaray."

As well as Drogba, Galatasaray coach Roberto Mancini also has plenty of experience with Chelsea - albeit sitting in the opposition dugout.

Mancini was involved in a number of clashes with Chelsea during his time at Manchester City - winning six of nine meetings in all competitions - and the Italian has enjoyed a relatively successful tenure so far in Istanbul.

Currently sitting second in the Super Lig behind Fenerbahce, Mancini also guided his side to second in Group B after a dramatic win over Juventus in a delayed game in the Turkish capital.

Wesley Sneijder's goal five minutes from time sent Gala through in dramatic fashion in a fixture put back a day due to snow.

Galatasaray is aiming to reach the quarterfinals of the competition for a second successive season as the club competes in the Champions League last 16 for just the second time.

However, the team will look to avoid a repeat of Chelsea's only ever visit to Galatasaray, which saw the visiting side pick up a 5-0 victory in 1999 courtesy of a Tore Andre Flo double and further goals from Gianfranco Zola, Dennis Wise and Gabriele Ambrosetti.

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