Five Galatasaray players who could hurt Chelsea

The Turkish outfit will be hoping to spring a surprise on their illustrious Premier League opponents and have the weapons in their armoury to succeed.


Galatasaray head to Chelsea for the second leg of their round-of-16 Champions League clash knowing they must score to remain in the competition, following a 1-1 draw in the Türk Telekom Arena three weeks ago.

The Turks, led by former Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini, recovered from conceding early on to Fernando Torres to snatch a 1-1 draw thanks to Aurelien Chedjou's second-half leveller to give the less-fancied Gala a fighting chance for the return leg.

The trip to Stamford Bridge pits Didier Drogba against his former employers once more, with the Ivorian set to make his first appearance as an opposing player at Stamford Bridge this evening.

But who are the five other players who can make an impact as Drogba et al look to shock the current Premier League leaders.

1) Aurelien Chedjou

The Cameroonian defender notched in the first-leg but he will have to marshall a defence which has proven leaky against the very best sides in Europe this term. 

Real Madrid put 10 past the Turks in two games, but their overall record reads 15 conceded in seven matches, guaranteeing at least a goal per game to this point.

Chedjou must combat against this and, being the star man of the back-line, the responsibility falls mainly on his shoulders. His goal-scoring prowess is admirable but keeping out Eden Hazard, Oscar and co is essential.

2) Felipe Melo

The Brazilian has already scored this season but, akin to Chedjou, his main task at Stamford Bridge will be to ensure Chelsea are allowed no freedom in midfield.

Stopping midfield runners in the shape of Frank Lampard, for instance, this evening will be crucial if Mancini's side are to progress to the next round.

Melo's defensive qualities are well renowned, but the Italian manager will equally be hoping his midfield enforcer can step up like his defensive lynchpin Chedjou and give his side an added attacking dimension.

3) Wesley Sneijder

Along with Drogba, the Dutchman is the other standout name in a team littered with high-profile players of yesteryear, with Sneijder perfectly fitting that depiction.

He has failed to re-discover the form he showed during a Champions League-winning campaign with Inter Milan, not the 2010 World Cup showings which helped Holland to a final against Spain.

But, as the old adage goes, form is temporary and class is permanent. A mantra Sneijder has tried to live up to in this European campaign. Only one other Galatasaray player has more goals than the 29-year-old this season and the creative responsibilities will fall to him in the No.10 role, just behind Drogba.

4) Umut Bulut

One of the surprise names on the list, but Bulut is the club's top scorer in this season's Champions League, with a tally of three. Drogba and Sneijder have garnered four between them but the super-sub has scored against the big boys so far in the tournament.

He scored the Turks' two goals across two games with Madrid, despite consecutive heavy defeats against the Spanish giants but also netted in the 2-2 draw with Juventus which would prove pivotal.

It helped ensure second place in Group B for Mancini and his charges, ahead of Juventus and set up this tie. Having only started one game though, his role as someone who can make an impact off the bench will most likely result in him starting there, having scored twice as a substitute so far.

5) Burak Yilmaz

Touted as a Chelsea target in the past, the physical front-man has been deployed in a slightly withdrawn left-wing role to accommodate Drogba's presence as the spearhead of the attack and the results have been mixed from the Turkish striker's perspective.

He has failed to score in five Champions League appearances this term, nor contribute an assist but does boast 13 goals at domestic level so far.

Yilmaz will be a man on a mission to prove the calibre of clubs he was previously linked with had sufficient reason to be interested in his services. Taking on Chelsea offers him the perfect platform to showcase whether or not he is up to it at this level.

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