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Chelsea will aim to bounce back from their disappointing Premier League defeat to Aston Villa when they take on Galatasaray in the 2nd leg of their Champions league leg tie later today.The defeat to the Midlanders saw their lead at the top of the table reduced to four points and was compounded by the double sending off of Willian and Ramires.
The Brazilian pair will be suspended for next weekend’s clash with Arsenal but are free to play on Tuesday should manager Jose Mourinho require them.
Mourinho will be without the injured Ashley Cole with a knee injury while Nemanja Matic and Mo Salah are both ineligible are playing for Benfica and Basle respectively earlier in the competition.
David Luiz is also fit after recent groin troubles and the Brazilian could come into the middle of the park to replace the ineligible Matic.
While Chelsea’s misfiring strikers, Fernando Torres, Demba Ba and Samuel Eto’o have all endured difficult seasons in front of goal for former Blues striker Didier Drogba this season has been business as usual.
The Ivory star, now 36, has scored 18 goals for club and country this season and he is set to get a hero’s welcome from the home support.
Drogba spent 8 years at the club with his final the vital penalty that won the 2012 Champions League cup ensuring legends status amongst Blues fans, a fact acknowledged by Mourinho.
“Undoubtedly he is one of the most important players in the history of this club – that is not a doubt. I think all Chelsea supporters we agree with that” said Mourinho.
“We don’t say the most important one because that is not fair for other people that were in the same level and in the same generation, but for sure we all agree one of the most important players in the history of our club.
“Is he the same player at 36 that he was at 26? I think nobody is, but he is one of the best strikers in the world that’s for sure.”
Mourinho also revealed that he fully expects to see Drogba back at the club in the not too distant future.
I think it has to happen one day. When, I don’t know – as a player, as a coach, as an ambassador – next year, in four or five years, in 10 years – I don’t know.” He added.
“But when a person represents so much to a club and a club represents so much to a person – and that’s the case – I think he has to be back one day.”
While all eyes will be on Drogba with players of the calibre of Burak Yilmaz, Wesley Sneijder, Felipe Melo and Selcuk Inan Galatasaray boast enough ammunition to trouble Chelsea.
Galatasaray will head into the game on the back of some good recent form in the league. The club are just five points off leaders Fenerbahce and are unbeaten in their last 14 league games.