Chelsea will welcome Didier Drogba back to Stamford Bridge with Galatasaray on Tuesday for the second leg of their Champions League knockout tie. A 1-1 draw in Turkey would certainly seem to favour the Blues, but there are a few key team decisions which are out of Jose Mourinho’s hands.
According to the official Chelsea website, David Luiz is still suffering from a muscle strain, leaving Gary Cahill and John Terry as the likely centre-half pairing. Ashley Cole is also a doubt through injury, leaving Cesar Azpilicueta at left-back and Branislav Ivanovic on the right.
With Nemanja Matic cup-tied, Frank Lampard should start this match. Ramires’ red card at Aston Villa makes him ineligible for the Arsenal game, guaranteeing him a place in the starting XI for this tie. Marko van Ginkel could make the bench after returning to training after his knee injury, but he is unlikely to feature as he continues to regain his form.
Willian should start on the right of the attack as he is also unable to face Arsenal at the weekend. Although Oscar’s form has dropped slightly in recent weeks, his best performances since joining Chelsea have come in the Champions League. He currently leads the Chelsea squad with three assists in the competition so far (per WhoScored) and should start on Tuesday, with Eden Hazard completing the attacking trio.
Fernando Torres picked up a groin strain in the warm-up before the 4-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur and will miss the match against Galatasaray. Samuel Eto’o’s form at Stamford Bridge has been praised by Mourinho in The Telegraph, giving him the edge over Demba Ba in the starting line-up.
Mourinho spoke to the Chelsea website before the Villa game about the scheduling issues that have left his side with 24 hours less to recover than their opponents. Whether the Premier League will heed his call for Friday night fixtures ahead of Champions League ties remains to be seen, but Roberto Mancini should be wary of his final words:
I would like to beat Galatasaray and to play in the quarter-finals against one of the biggest teams. It would be fantastic for the evolution of the players and the team to go to the quarter-finals and play Real Madrid or Barcelona or Bayern Munich.
One thing is to go to a match without any kind of ambition and another thing is to go where we have to win because we want to try to stay in the position we are. This pressure of trying to play for something bigger than we could have expected is also good.