Didier Drogba’s showdown with former employers Chelsea will inevitably dominate much of the pre-match talk before Galatasaray’s Champions League last 16 first-leg against the 2012 winners.
But Blues boss Jose Mourinho should know better than to focus solely on one individual with his side’s opponents a solid collective unit who are likely to pose plenty of problems at the TT Arena.
Galatasaray enter this contest having lost only two league games this season and their dramatic 1-0 victory over Juventus to seal their progression to this stage showed Roberto Mancini’s outfit boast a mixture of skill and spirit that will ensure Chelsea endure a nervy trip to Istanbul.
The hosts are 3/1 outsiders to claim victory with the West Londoners 19/20 favourites and the draw priced at 23/10.
That price on a Gala victory could look awfully generous come the final whistle. While 35-year-old talisman Drogba may take centre stage the Turkish side’s squad is packed full of other talent, including the likes of Wesley Sneijder, Felipe Melo and Burak Yilmaz.
And if Cimbom can combine their attacking prowess with the domestic defensive solidity that’s contributed to their fine form, even Mourinho’s offensive options may struggle to fire in what’s guaranteed to be a red-hot atmosphere.
Mancini’s men have only conceded twice in their last eight matches in all competitions, a statistic that may make the 10/11 on offer for both teams not score more appealing if you believe Chelsea can be kept at bay.
The Pensioners’ run of three defeats in their last five away games in the Champions League also offers hope for those banking on Drogba and co upsetting the odds.
The Ivorian is an 8/1 shot to score first with Ladbrokes while Chelsea counterpart Fernando Torres is available at 5/1 to strike the opening salvo.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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