Didier Drogba has had some of the most memorable moments of his career on the pitch at Stamford Bridge, where his name has been sung with great gusto time and again. Come Tuesday night, the Chelsea legend's name will continue to reverberate around the stadium, but those fans, who will no doubt give a great ovation to one of their greatest ever players, will also be hoping their idol ends up on the losing side come the final whistle.
After suffering a disappointing 1-0 loss to Aston Villa in the English Premier League at the weekend, Jose Mourinho and Chelsea will be desperate to make amends when they host Drogba's Galatasaray in the second leg of their last 16 Champions League tie, after the first leg in Turkey ended 1-1.
While the importance of this tie cannot be underestimated, Tuesday will all be about a Chelsea legend's return, albeit in the away team's colours. "I hope that Galatasaray qualify," Drogba said on Monday. "It will be difficult, but I think that regarding the welcome, I think I'm allowed to say that I will receive a warm welcome, because I know Chelsea's fans and our relationship is really special. It will be great to see them again, I am looking forward to it.
"I'm really happy to come back and see familiar faces and it's good. It won't be difficult to play. It's a big game, a big competition and it means a lot to my team, so I will find a way to play it.
"It's very difficult to play against Chelsea but it will not be difficult for me to put myself into the competition. I belong to Galatasaray and I need to be professional.
"Of course there will be emotions, like the first leg, when I saw my ex-team-mates and the Chelsea fans in the stadium. It was special but then there was the game and it was tough, high intensity and it think it will be the same tomorrow."
Mourinho was left seething by some refereeing decisions which he felt went against Chelsea in the 1-0 loss at Villa Park, a result which was a blow to his side's title chances. The Portuguese, however, will have to get his side to recover from that defeat and ensure the focus is completely turned on the match against Galatasaray, who as always will be roared on by their supporters, even away from home.
"They are very experienced, very powerful in attack, with players like Didier, [Wesley] Sneijder, Burak [Yilmaz]," Mourinho said. "We are talking about the best of the best. They know how to compete. They are bringing three or four thousand supporters, and they will silence Stamford Bridge, that's for sure. So it's hard.
"If you look at the result -- 1-1 -- and if you look at the game, one team was better in the first half, another was better in the second. It's the kind of match that could go to the wire. I very much doubt the game will be decided by halftime."
Galatasaray manager Roberto Mancini believes his side need to get off the blocks a lot quicker than they did in the first leg in Istanbul, with Chelsea going ahead to an early goal from Fernando Torres, before Aurelien Chedjou equalised in the second half.
"We showed a lot of respect for them in the first 20 minutes [of the first leg], probably because we were nervous," former Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini. "The mentality is important -- the attitude that we have when we start this game.
"We know it will be very tough but we want to do our best. The game will be difficult for both teams, but Chelsea have a small advantage. I don't know if it will be enough to score one goal but we'll see what happens."
Where to Watch Live:
Champions League: Chelsea vs Galatasaray Live TV and Live Streaming Information (Match starts 7.45 pm GMT, 1.15 am IST (Wednesday morning), 3.45 pm ET)
|India||Ten Action and Ten HD|
|United Kingdom||ITV, BBC Radio 5 Live|
|Middle East||Bein Sports Arabia|
|India||HERE or HERE|
|UK||HERE or HERE or HERE|
|Canada||HERE or HERE|
Team news: Chelsea: Ramires and Willian will be suspended for the crucial English Premier League clash against Arsenal, but will be available to face off against Galatasaray. Ashley Cole and David Luiz missed the Villa game and are doubts. Cole did not train on Monday and might miss out, but Luiz was present and could be available. Nemanja Matic and Mohamed Salah are ineligible.
Galatasaray: Aydin Yilmaz (ankle), Gokhan Zan (hamstring) and Emre Colak (knee) are ruled out for the Turkish side, who are yet to taste a victory in eight visits to England.
Expected lineups: Chelsea: Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Mikel, Ramires; Willian, Schurrle, Hazard; Torres.
Galatasaray: Muslera; Eboue, Balta, Chedjou, Telles; Kurtulus, Inan, Melo; Sneijder; Drogba, Yilmaz.
Prediction: 2-1 to Chelsea