Atmosphere, not Drogba could haunt Blues: We needed shields & security

Drogba Ivory Coast

An ex Chelsea and Leeds United player reflects on his trip to Galatasaray, believing the Blues have enough to win, but cites the atmosphere to be hostile.

Champions League experienced defender Michael Duberry, now 38 but formerly of Chelsea and Leeds United, foresees a Blue victory at the Turk Telekom Arena in Istanbul this evening, Wednesday, when the West Londoners take on Galatasaray in the first leg of their Champions League Round of 16 clash.

Much has been made about Stamford Bridge legend Didier Drogba lining up against the club he made his name with, yet Duberry does not envisage him causing the Chelsea defence much trouble: 'I don’t think Drogba alone will haunt Chelsea… he may give his old teammates a tough time, but Chelsea will have too much for Galatasaray,' the Enfield-born Englishman told YouTube-based sports chat show Sportlobster TV.

The two-legged tie has added intrigue due to the rivalry between Gala boss Roberto Mancini and Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, with both exchanging a war of words this week.

The Italian recognises the on-paper feats on Mourinho's CV but doubts the legitimacy of his greatest triumph, his record-setting Treble-winning season with Internazionale, as Mancini believes Jose was only able to achieve that success because it was a team he inherited from him.

Mourinho countered this by remarking that only five of his six starters in their successful Champions League final were from Mancini's Inter.

Ultimately, their well-publicised arguments will be settled in the dugouts this evening, yet for Duberry, the winner will be Mourinho as the Portuguese - he implies - is more proficient when it comes to tactics.

'[Roberto] Mancini knows Chelsea, but this is a different club to when he left,' said Duberry. 'Mourinho will know how to nullify Galatasaray, which is what he is good at.'

While Duberry believes Chelsea have the advantage when it comes to playing staff and managerial nous, what could be a stumbling block is the 'unbelievable atmosphere' generated by the home supporters in Turkey, as Duberry testified that it is a 'frightening' arena to compete in.

He warned: 'It’s one of those unbelievable atmospheres to play in. I was there with Leeds United and it is frightening, but the atmosphere is one you want to sample.

'When I went with Leeds I was worried about the crowd, we had to get the security and shields walking out the tunnel. It’ll be a hostile environment.'

So who will win? 'I am confident Chelsea will,' he concluded.

image: © manbeastextraordinaire

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch