Galatasaray striker warns former team that he will be playing for a win in tonight's crunch Last 16 second leg clash
London: Galatasaray striker Didier Drogba has warned Chelsea not to expect any favours when he makes an emotional return to his old club for a decisive Champions League Last 16 clash tonight.
Galatasaray's Didier Drogba during a Champions League Group B match against Juventus at Juventus Arena on October 2. Pic/Getty Images
Jose Mourinho's side are reeling after a tempestuous 0-1 defeat at Aston Villa on Saturday ended their 14-match unbeaten run in the Premier League.
Mourinho's men have no margin for error in the Champions League, where a win or high-scoring draw for Galatasaray today at Stamford Bridge would send the Turks into the quarter-finals following a 1-1 draw in the first leg in Istanbul last month.
In the circumstances, it will be something of a bittersweet reunion with Drogba, who is certain to be greeted as a returning hero by Chelsea fans before the match but could end up shattering their European dreams.
Drogba won every major prize during a glorious eight-year stay in west London. But on the eve of his first appearance at the Bridge since his departure, Drogba admitted he is nervous about how he will react to being the centre of attention.
"First of all I was happy to play against my ex-club, against my friends. But at the same time it is a very special moment because I do not know what my reaction will be," Drogba told UEFA.com.
"You know that I spent eight years at Chelsea, so I really don't know, I am quite apprehensive about it. It's the club where I experienced everything. It allowed me to get closer to the best players in the world."
Drogba makes no attempt to hide his love for Chelsea, but he would relish another run to the latter stages of the competition, even if it comes at the expense of his old friends.
"I hope that Galatasaray qualify. It will be difficult, but I think that regarding the welcome, I think I'm allowed to say that I will receive a warm welcome, because I know Chelsea's fans and our relationship is really special," Drogba
said. "It will be great to see them again, I am looking forward to it."
There was one piece of good news for Mourinho after the Villa match as it emerged that Samuel Eto'o is expected to be fit for the Galatasaray tie. Eto'o sat out the Villa game, but Fernando Torres gave a lacklustre performance and Mourinho is likely to throw the Cameroonian back into the fray.