Didier Drogba and Welsey Sneijder celebrate their victory over Juventus in the Champions League, 13 December, 2013. Reuters
Two players who adore Jose Mourinho -- with one also a true Chelsea legend - will look to inflict a little pain on their former manager when Galatasaray entertain Chelsea in the first leg of their Champions League round-of-16 match in Turkey.
Didier Drogba and Wesley Sneijder have enjoyed I'm-never-going-to-forget-it moments with Mourinho plenty of times in the past during their time with Chelsea and Inter Milan respectively, and now the famed duo will look to add another memory in their footballing lives, with the Portuguese set to be at the opposing end.
"What can I say about Mourinho? We won this trophy [Champions League] together," Sneijder said on Tuesday. "But tomorrow is completely different, although outside the match we are friends.
"It's an important game, a game I want to win. I respect him a lot as we all respect Chelsea. We want to go all out for victory."
Mourinho also admitted to being wary of facing Drogba, whose final kick in a Chelsea shirt resulted in the London club lifting their first ever Champions League trophy. "[With regards to] Drogba, we will have to do our job because we know he will want to do his, which is to score goals," Mourinho said. "It is a strange feeling to play him and we have to try to forget it."
Mourinho faced Galatasaray last season as Real Madrid manager, and the Portuguese is expecting a difficult tie over two legs. "I like to play against the best and Galatasaray are the Turkish champions," he added. "Last season Galatasaray made it very difficult for me with Real Madrid and this year will be no different. They were a good team and they have almost exactly the same team, but have strengthened with a few extra players.
"We are going to play to win, but we know they are strong and have special attacking players. They have lots of goalscorers and we know they will attack us. We are trying to build a team for the future and we will play the way we always do, which is to try to win the game."
Roberto Mancini's side made it to the knockout stages of the Champions League courtesy a brilliant victory over Juventus, which knocked the Italian champions out of the tournament. Mancini and co. will also do well to look at Olympiakos' performance against Manchester United on Tuesday night, where the home side, roared on by an inspiring home crowd, put in a commendable performance.
"Chelsea are one of the best teams in Europe," former Manchester City manager Mancini said. "They've won the Champions League before and are always in the competition, but we need to fight against them and make use of home advantage.
"Chelsea are a young team, they are top of the Premier League. They have really good, fantastic players who can influence the outcome of a match. I believe Chelsea have an 80 percent chance of going through in this competition."
Where to Watch Live
The match is scheduled for an 8.45 pm CET (1.15 am IST Thursday morning) with live coverage on Ten Action and Ten HD. The match can be watched via live streaming online in India HERE or HERE. Catch the action in the UK via live streaming HERE, while US viewers can catch the action live online HERE. Live stream the match in the Middle East and North Africa HERE, while Africa viewers can go HERE. The game can be live streamed by Latin America viewers HERE, while Australia viewers can watch the match live online HERE.
Team news: Galatasaray: Aurelien Chedjou is unlikely to feature, after missing the last four games with a groin injury, but Aydin Yilmaz and Gokhan Zan are available after recovering from ankle and hamstring injuries respectively.
Chelsea: Nemanja Matic and Mohamed Salah cup-tied, while Marco Van Ginkel is a long-term absentee. David Luiz and John Obi Mikel missed out at the weekend and along with Oscar face late fitness tests.
Key men: Galatasaray: Difficult to look past the Sneijder and Drogba. The duo will no doubt be extra motivated for this match.
Chelsea: Eden Hazard has not had the greatest last couple of games, and the Belgian playmaker will be keen to show Europe just why he is so raved about in England at the moment.
Expected lineups: Galatasaray: Muslera; Sari, Kaya, Telles, Balta; Melo, Inan; Yilmaz, Sneijder, Gulselam, Drogba.
Chelsea: Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Ramires, Lampard; Willian, Oscar, Hazard; Torres.
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