“Strange Feelings” as Drogba Returns Against Chelsea

Jose Mourinho admits facing Didier Drogba’s Galatasaray would be an emotional night for Chelsea, but admits every party has to do their job to reach the last-eight of the European Champions League.

Drogba nonetheless shares the same opinion ahead of his first game against his beloved ‘Blues’ since scoring with an 88th-minute header to take a Champions League final game against Bayern Munich into extra-time before converting the winning penalty in a shoot-out over two year’s ago.

The Ivory Coast international, 35, left Stamford Bridge after eight years in June 2012, embarking on a short spell in China with Shanghai Shenhua before returning to Europe with Galatasaray last January.

Mourinho Says It's Difficult to Face Didier Drogba. Getty Image.
Mourinho Says It’s Difficult to Face Didier Drogba. Getty Image.

“To face Didier Drogba is difficult and a strange feeling but we have to do our job, we know that he wants to do his job,”
said the Portuguese boss ahead of their last-16 tie in Istanbul.

“I want to do my job by trying to help the team and he wants to do his by scoring.

“It is a strange feeling to face him.”

Chelsea clinched their first Champions League title in Europe in May 2012, while Mourinho was away with Real Madrid trying to achieve similar feat to no avail in his three-year spell with the La Liga giants.

The manager reiterated his stance that the Stamford Bridge outfit are “not favourite” for this season’s title but adds Wednesday’s second round tie against the Turkish champions is a must win.

“We are not favourites (to win the competition), obviously. But when a team reaches the quarter final, anything is possible. This round is a very important round because the teams who reach the quarter final can start having a little feeling.

“Chelsea won it when they were not the favourite, I won it twice when I was not favourite. I didn’t win when my team was one of the favourites.

“This competition has a bit of a space for a surprise. It is clear there are at least three, maybe four or five, that are by quality and experience obviously favourites.”

When quizzed whether his team will employ a defensive or offensive tactic, Mourinho said: “We are going to play to win. We Galatasaray are strong. They have attacking players, special players. Even on the bench sometimes they have Umut Bulut and he is a very good and very dangerous striker. In between Bulut, Burak Yilmaz and Didier Drogba, they have lots of good goal scorers and we know that.

“We are trying to build a team for the future and the way to do that is not to play an attacking team one day and a defensive team another day, so we will play as we always do – trying to win the game.”

Chelsea Team News as Sourced from the BBC Sport

David Luiz and John Mikel Obi have travelled for Chelsea’s Champions League last-16 first-leg tie at Galatasaray.

The pair missed Saturday’s match with Everton through injury but have travelled to Istanbul, as has Oscar despite being substituted at half time with an ankle complaint.

January additions Nemanja Matic and Mohamed Salah are cup-tied having already played in the Champions League this season, while Marco van Ginkel is continuing his rehabilitation from his serious knee injury.


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