Galatasaray to face Chelsea in Round of 16 of Champions League

Galatasaray to face Chelsea in Round of 16 of Champions League

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Galatasaray to face Chelsea in Round of 16 of Champions League

Draw balls with the names of the teams sit on a table at the start of the draw for the last 16 of the UEFA Champions league tournament at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon on December 16, 2013. AFP PHOTO

Galatasaray will need to negotiate a difficult tie against Jose Mourinho and Chelsea in the Round of 16 Champions League if it is to equal its feat of appearing in the tournament’s quarterfinals for the second straight year after it was drawn to face the 2012 champions in the knockout round draw in Switzerland.

Mourinho’s Real Madrid eliminated the Lions in the quarterfinals of last year’s competition, and the famous Portuguese coach had expressed his desire to draw Galatasaray in the Round of 16 in this year’s tournament so that he could again face one of his most famous protégés, Ivorian legend Didier Drogba.

Mourinho will also come up against Wesley Sneijder, who was a key member of his treble winning Inter Milan side in 2010.

Galatasaray will start the knockout stage at home in late February before traveling in early March for the away leg at Stamford Bridge in London.

First leg games will be played on Feb. 18, 19, 25 and 26, while the return games will be played on March 11, 12, 18 and 19.

Defending champion Bayern Munich will face Arsenal in one of the most intriguing battles of the round of 16. Barcelona will take on red hot Manchester City in another crucial meeting.

The other draws are as follows: Manchester United vs. Olympiacos, Atletico Madrid vs. AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain vs. Bayer Leverkusen, Real Madrid vs. Schalke and Borussia Dortmund vs. Zenit St. Petersburg.

Meanwhile, Italian giant Juventus is set to make a return to Turkey, where it will face Trabzonspor in the UEFA Europa League round of 32. Juventus started focusing on the Europa League after losing its decisive Champions League group game 1-0 to Galatasaray last week.

Trabzonspor is currently on a 14-game unbeaten run in the European competition, and one game away from matching Galatasaray’s 15-match record in the 1999-2000 season.

If Trabzonspor can survive the tricky Juve tie, it is likely to have another Italian opponent, as the winner of this face-off will meet the winner of the tie between Fiorentina and Elfsborg of Sweden.