Galatasaray’s Didier Drogba faces former club Chelsea for the first time since leaving in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday.
Drogba is regarded as a legend by fans of the Premier League club, having clinched European glory in the competition with his final touch as a Chelsea player in the 2011-12 final against Bayern Munich.
Having scored 157 goals in 341 appearances for Chelsea, Drogba ensured a Hollywood ending at the club by converting the winning penalty against Bayern at the Allianz Arena.
However, Chelsea’s fourth all-time highest scorer will be aiming to knock his former employers out of the competition when the sides meet in the last 16 at the Turk Telekom Arena.
The Ivorian has 12 goals to his name in all competitions this season, but Chelsea qualified top of Group E with the help of one of the tightest defences in the competition.
Along with Manchester United and Atletico Madrid, Chelsea conceded just three goals in the group stage and have been breached just once in their last five Premier League outings.
Their latest victory – a 1-0 win over Everton on Saturday – maintained their lead in England’s top flight, but Samuel Eto’o is eager for his team-mates to take one game at a time in their quest to win the double in Jose Mourinho’s first season back at the club.
As well as Drogba, Galatasaray coach Roberto Mancini also has plenty of experience with Chelsea – albeit sitting in the opposition dugout.
Mancini was involved in a number of clashes with Chelsea during his time at Manchester City – winning six of nine meetings in all competitions – and the Italian has enjoyed a relatively successful tenure so far in Istanbul.
Currently sitting second in the Super Lig behind Fenerbahce, Mancini also guided his side to second in Group B after a dramatic win over Juventus in a delayed game in the Turkish capital.
Wesley Sneijder’s goal five minutes from time sent Gala through in dramatic fashion in a fixture put back a day due to snow.
Galatasaray are aiming to reach the quarter-finals of the competition for a second successive season as they compete in the Champions League last 16 for just the second time.
However, they will look to avoid a repeat of Chelsea’s only ever visit to Galatasaray, which saw the visitors pick up a 5-0 victory in 1999 courtesy of a Tore Andre Flo brace and further goals from Gianfranco Zola, Dennis Wise and Gabriele Ambrosetti.
Tokyo 2020: Nigerian Wrestlers Are Medal Hopefuls -Coach
National wrestling coach Akuh Purity, has stated that Nigerian wrestlers going to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics have real medal chances this time, compared to the 2016 Olympics with less than a month to the games in Tokyo.
Purity, speaking in a chat with Tidesports source stressed that better exposure and competition experience already put the Nigerian wrestlers as medal prospects.
He added that the wrestlers had actually competed against the very best in the world in the run-in to the Tokyo Olympics and have an idea of almost whatever anyone of the top guns will offer.
Ex-D’Tigers Player Becomes NBA Head Coach
Former D’tigers player Ime Udoka has been appointed the new coach for Boston Celtics in the NBA.
Udoka had been considered a front-runner for the job, as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported last Friday that Udoka was among the candidates who received second interviews.
Udoka, 43, spent seven years on Gregg Popovich’s staff in San Antonio, including the 2013-14 season, when the Spurs won the NBA title.
He joined the Philadelphia 76ers in 2019 and was with the Nets last year.
Udoka was a member of the Nigerian national team, for whom he played at the 2006 FIBA World Championships.
B/Volleyball: Nigeria Defeats Kenya In Olympic Qualifiers
Nigeria beat Kenya 2-1 (21-13, 19-21, 15-13) in the golden match to record their first win in the men’s category of the Tokyo Beach Volleyball Olympic Qualifiers in Morocco.
Nigeria Team A (Obayemi Ogunshina and Hilary Simon) lost to Kenya Team B 0-2 (15-21, 13-21) in the first encounter before Nigeria Team B consisting of Emenike Ezike and Emmanuel Chidebere defeated Kenya Team A (21-16, 21-16) in the second encounter.
The head coach of Nigeria beach volleyball team, Francis Imoudu commended the players for putting all their effort against Kenya.
Imoudu stated that Kenya gave Nigeria a good fight but the better side won the game.
He said, “This win is an indication that the men’s team is ready for their remaining opponents. I must commend the fighting spirit of the team because bookmakers had given the game to the Kenyans but we shocked Africa.
“Kenya is a good side but Nigeria did not show them any respect on the court. We will take each game as they come and all we need is the support of Nigerians home and abroad for these boys to succeed”.
Reacting to the victory, the Chairman Caretaker Committee of Nigeria Volleyball Federation, Engineer Musa Nimrod lauded the players for recording their first win of the beach volleyball Olympic qualifiers.
He said the Federation will continue to support the team adding that the players should show no respect to their remaining opponents in the qualifiers.
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