Paris SG, who finished second in Group A behind Real Madrid, have reached the knockout stages of the Champions League for the fourth consecutive season, their best ever run. They were eventually knocked out in the quarter finals in the last three campaigns. They have won their last few games against Lyon and Marseille, but drew their last game 0-0 against Lille OSC, but that can be attributed to the fact that Laurent Blanc rested a lot of their star performers such as Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva, Thiago Motta, etc., ahead of the big clash against Chelsea.
Chelsea, who qualified top of Group G ahead of Dynamo Kiev, have reached the knockout stages of the Champions League for the 12th time in the last 13 seasons. Chelsea drew two games against Watford and Manchester United, and won the game against Newcastle United in a flamboyant fashion, beating Newcastle 6-1.
Paris Saint Germain
A few players will also be making timely returns from injury in the hope of proving themselves fit to face Chelsea next week. Marco Verratti, Javier Pastore and Gregory van der Wiel are all back after significant periods out of action.
The returns Verratti and Pastore are welcome boosts for a team that has struggled for creativity in midfield lately, while Van der Wiel’s availability means that Serge Aurier should get some deserved rest after a demanding recent run of starts.
Loic Remy has been out with a calf injury and isn’t expected to be available, whilst Radamel Falcao has so far only started one Premier League game and scored one goal, plus is expected to also be unavailable with his ongoing thigh problem. In addition for Chelsea, they have problems in defence with Kurt Zouma suffering that really horrible looking knee injury last Sunday against Manchester United.
Costa has been struggling with his broken nose and also to match a debut season which saw him score 20 goals in 26 appearances in their last season. But the 27-year-old appears to have rediscovered his scoring touch since manager Guus Hiddink replaced Jose Mourinho in December.
- PSG and Chelsea face each other for the third time in succession, in what has become an iconic Champions League fixture. The Parisians defeated the Londoners at the same stage last season, while Chelsea were the victors in the 2013/14 quarterfinals.
- Despite having qualified last time around, PSG have defeated Chelsea only once in the 6 games they have played in the Champions League, a 3-1 win at home in 2013/14.
- Chelsea are the only English club to have ever defeated PSG at the Parc des Princes, defeating them 3-0 in the group stages of the 2004/05 season, which was Jose Mourinho’s first European game in charge of Chelsea.
- The Parisians have an excellent defensive record this season, only conceding once in the group stages. However, Chelsea have an excellent record against Ligue 1 opposition, having only lost twice in 11 games in the Champions League.
Head to Head
11/03/2015 UEFA Champions League Chelsea 1 – 1 PSG
17/02/2015 UEFA Champions League PSG 1 – 1 Chelsea
08/04/2014 UEFA Champions League Chelsea 2 – 0 PSG
02/04/2014 UEFA Champions League PSG 3 – 1 Chelsea
22/07/2012 Club Friendlies PSG 1 – 1 Chelsea
24/11/2004 UEFA Champions League Chelsea 0 – 0 PSG
Paris Saint Germain – Angel Di Maria
The Argentinian maverick has being admired for playing in a style that has won the hearts of fans at the Parc des Princes. Di María arrived in his peak years, an A-lister who carries with him the stamp of success with Real Madrid and excellence with Argentina, and for PSG he has been superb. Di María has this season rediscovered the zest and joy of playing that marked his time at the Bernabéu.
After three successive quarter-final eliminations in the Champions League, it is a work in progress to try to reach the levels set by clubs such as Barcelona and Bayern Munich, and Angel Di Maria will definitely prove to be an important asset in helping PSG get to such a position.
Chelsea – Thibaut Courtois
Courtois has been instrumental in Chelsea’s upsurge in performance under Guus Hiddink. He has been making vital saves for the team and his skills will be tested and needed in the clash against PSG at the Parc De Princes. PSG will undoubtedly be looking to attack Chelsea, and in such a situation, Courtois’s performance in front of the net could either make or break Chelsea’s victory.
Even in the game against Manchester United, Courtois was the key in preventing Jesse Lingaard’s attempts.
The match is likely to end in a 2-1 victory for PSG, simply because they have been a lot more consistent when compared to Chelsea. However, Chelsea under Hiddink have been really strong, so the match will indeed turn out to be an interesting watch, irrespective of which team wins!