Chelsea vs Paris Saint Germain | Champions League Preview

Chelsea vs Paris Saint Germain | Champions League Preview

A massive second leg tie on Wednesday night in the Champions League as Chelsea welcome PSG to Stamford Bridge. Following a 1-1 draw in the French capital the tie is finely poised for a showcase this Wednesday with Laurent Blanc’s side looking to get one over Mourinho’s men after falling to them in Quarter-Final last year. With their 4-1 win putting them back within a point of top spot PSG will be hoping they can ride that momentum into London for a memorable evening for the Parisian club. Meanwhile, Chelsea saw off a tough away day at Upton Park in midweek and were given the weekend off to prepare for the crunch European game. At this juncture last year (albeit at the Quarter-Final stage) PSG held a 3-1 home win over Chelsea but Mourinho’s men were able to secure a 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge to progress. This time round 2-0 won’t be necessary after Ivanovic’s away goal gives Chelsea an important cushion to rest on for the home game. However, PSG do have the firepower capable of upsetting Chelsea whose form as of late hasn’t been as startling as it was in the early stages of the season. A matchup that could very well be the game of the round with two teams with such quality still in with a chance of progressing to the last 8.

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Team News

Chelsea’s only injury that is a certainty to miss the Wednesday evening match is John Obi Mike. The Nigerian midfielder could be at least 4 weeks away from any potential return. That will be more of a loss than expected as you could see Mourinho wanted Mikel to come on in typical fashion to play the game out with half an hour or so to go. Big news for Chelsea fans was that Nemanja Matic will be fit to face PSG on Wednesday. The Serbian midfielder injured his ankle in league cup final celebrations last week but Mourinho insists he will be fit for the Champions League. Matic would’ve been a huge loss to Chelsea for this tie considering he has been one of their standout players in a standout season for the club.

In terms of injuries for PSG, Lauren Blanc hopes to have midfielder Yohan Cabaye back in the side after recovering from a thigh injury. However, Blanc will continue to be without Brazilian winger Lucas Moura and right-back Serge Aurier both of who were also injured for the first leg a few weeks ago.

Interesting Statistics

  • This will be PSG’s second trip to Stamford Bridge. They were 2-0 losers on their first visit in last year’s Champions League Quarter-Final.
  • PSG paid Chelsea £48 million for Brazilian defender David Luiz making him the most expensive defender ever
  • Should PSG be triumphant it would be their 3rd consecutive appearance in the Champions League Quarter-Finals.
  • Chelsea will reach their 4th Quarter-Final in 5 years should they progress
  • Both Thiago Motta and Zlatan Ibrahimovic worked under Mourinho at Inter Milan
  • Diego Costa is the top goal scorer in the Premier League but he is yet to register a goal in this season Champions League

Key Players

Chelsea: Eden Hazard

Eden Hazard has previous against PSG. It was the Belgians spot kick that secured the vital away goal last season for Chelsea against the Parisians. He has only lost once in 9 games against PSG in his Ligue 1 days. He was even part of the Lille side that beat PSG in the 2011 French cup final securing a league and cup double over PSG that season. Since those days Hazrad has continued to develop into one of the most top tier players in Europe and the world today. His stock is continually rising. The wide man’s ability with the ball at his feet is a joy to behold. He is one of the most fouled players in both the Premier League and Champions League as opposition are finding it exceedingly hard to stop him without doing so illegally. Hazard is that caliber of player that even if Chelsea don’t turn up on Wednesday and PSG are the better side, he could provide enough individual brilliance to turn the tie in his sides favour. At a point in his career when we are eagerly awaiting to see him become a player to challenge the hierarchy established by Ronaldo and Messi we look to games like this as a test. Games like these are when players like Hazards could, should and no doubt will thrive.

Paris Saint Germain: David Luiz

David Luiz returns to Stamford Bridge for the first time on Wednesday night. He was always a fan favourite at the bridge (especially when he got them 40 million to go to PSG) but it will be interesting to see the performance the Brazilian puts in at his old home ground. Capable of moments of absolute brilliance just as he has moments of utter calamity, you could toss a coin to guess what type of game you will get from David Luiz. As of late however, he has been on good form for his current side. A goal against Lens on Saturday saw his side on their way to 4-1 win that puts them back within a point of Lyon in the race for the Ligue 1 title. It’s occasions like these where you are most likely to get one side or the other of Luiz’s Jekyll and Hyde like footballing ability. I’ve flipped the coin and believe his return to Stamford bridge could be where he showcases his brilliance being a major influence in his sides efforts to make it to the last 8 of the Champions League.

Prediction

All sense would go with a Chelsea win here or at least a result that see’s Chelsea advance to the Quarter-Finals. Coming to Stamford Bridge after a 1-1 away result? It seems like Mourinho’s bread and butter. But, there’s something about PSG that gives me the impression they are capable of being a team to upset Chelsea. They came close last year after a great performance a home. Ibrahimovic is always a player you expect more from when you see him in big games in the Champions League perhaps Wednesday will be the day he truly silences any of his remaining critics? Or the status quo could be upheld and the masterful Mourinho puts his team out to get the result necessary for their progression and much to the Parisians frustration they get that result. Both teams quality is undoubted but when it’s all said and done I think Chelsea will stand victorious after being pushed all the way by an impressive PSG away performance.

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