Chelsea travel to Turkey as Champions League football returns for the knock-out phase to face Galatasaray in the first leg of the Round-of-16 fixture. Mourinho’s boys will be up against Chelsea legend and former Blues striker Didier Drogba, who plies his trade at the Turkish club now. Although Galatasaray is somewhat of an unknown commodity, despite being a constant feature at the Champions League over the seasons, Jose Mourinho’s opposite number is a known adversary in Roberto Mancini.
On route to the knock-out stage, Galatasaray lost to Real Madrid but defeated the formidable Juventus as they finished runners-up in Group B. Chelsea, on the contrary, convincingly won the Group E after having a shaky start in a home loss to FC Basel.
This one promises to be a cracking encounter and far away from the comforts of home, an away goal would be welcome while a clean sheet a definite bonus.
DATE & TIME: February 26, 2014 at 14:45 EST; February 26, 2014 at 19:45 GMT; February 26, 2014 at 20:45 WAT; February 26, 2014 at 21:45 CAT; February 26, 2014 at 22:45 EAT; February 27, 2014 at 01:15 IST.
VENUE: Túrk Telecom Arena, Istanbul, Turkey.
TV/STREAMING NEWS: The match will be telecast live on ESPN 3/Pacific Rim in Australia, SuperSport 5 in African continent, Sportsnet East/West/Pacific/Ontario in Canada, ESPN Play Latin America & Fox Sports HD in Colombia, beIN Sports Arabia 4 HD/11 HD in Egypt, beIN Sports 1 in France, Sky Sport 1/HD in Germany, Ten HD/Action in India, Sky Calcio 2 in Italy, Sukachan 0 in Japan, Astro Supersport 3 in Malaysia, Canal+ Yomvi & C+ Liga de Campeones 2/HD in Spain, beIN Sports Arabia 4 HD/11 HD in UAE, Sky Sports 1/HD in UK and Fox Sports 1 in USA.
The match is available online on UEFA.com internationally and FoxSoccer2Go in USA.
You can also catch the game on BBC Radio 5 Live in UK.
CHELSEA FC SQUAD NEWS: Marco van Ginkel is the only long-term absentee. David Luiz and John Obi Mikel missed the Everton game due to a minor injury, but have travelled with the team, as has Oscar who Mourinho confirmed picked up an injury in the PL tie. Nemanja Matic and Mohammad Salah are ineligible, having already represented Benfica & Basel previously in this season’s competition.
GALATASARAY SK SQUAD NEWS: The Turkish club has a relatively clean bill of health, except for Aydin Yilmaz, who is recuperating from an ankle injury. The official UEFA website, however, have Chedjou, Gokhan Zan, Hakan Balta and Hamin Altintop listed as doubtful for the fixture.
REFEREE: Carlos Velasco Carballo (Spain).
- Chelsea’s next draw will be their 50th in UEFA competition.
- John Obi Mikel of Chelsea and Felipe Melo & Fernando Muslera of Galatasaray are a booking away from suspension.
- The last time Chelsea played away at Galatasaray was in 1999 and the Blues went on to win the game 5-0.
Playing away at Turkey is never easy, but Chelsea, currently sitting atop the Premier League ladder, is expected to put up a commendable performance and a display of the renowned grit might actually garner a positive result for the Blues out of the tie.