Paris Saint-Germain host Chelsea this evening following a disappointing 1-0 loss to Nice last weekend. PSG sit atop the Ligue 1 with 13 points separating them from first place so Laurent Blanc can fully focus on the Champions League without much worry of it affecting their current league standings. Laurent Blanc’s side have picked up four wins, a draw, and a lost in their last six Champions League matches. The Parisian team are all fully fit with Gregory van der Wiel the only doubt for the match as Christophe Jallet and Maxwell will occupy the wing back positions. The strength of Laurent Blanc’s side will surely lie in his attacking options with Ezequiel Lavezzi, Edinson Cavani, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic all fit for the challenge.
Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Ramires, Lampard, Willian, Oscar, Hazard, Torres
A devastating loss at the weekend might have put Chelsea out of the title running for the Premier League, but manager Jose Mourinho believes that it won’t affect their mentally when they travel to France to face Paris Saint-Germain. However, with pressure from the English league still on high, Mourinho will now need to turn his attention to their first leg Champions League encounter. Like PSG, Chelsea has recorded four wins, one draw, and one lost this term in the Champions League, with Mourinho looking to make three changes from his selection at the weekend. An untouched back line will be used as Frank Lampard will keep his place in defensive midfield alongside Ramires who will be replacing an ineligible Nemanja Matic. Brazilian duo Oscar and Willian will return to the starting lineup alongside Eden Hazard, with Oscar playing only 45 minutes in his previous match and Willian being given a break. Samuel Eto’o looks to be a doubt for this fixture, as Fernando Torres will surely get the nod to lead the attack at Parc des Princes.
@mrbennbenn It’s certainly getting interesting. I’m intensely looking forward to Chelsea v PSG.
— Michael Dravnieks (@mdravnieks) March 31, 2014
@FIFAcom we don’t give up! That’s why we are Chelsea! Watch us rock PSG
— Fatau Charles (@fatau_charles) March 31, 2014
A really good birthday present would be Chelsea losing to PSG on Wednesday, that’d be just awesome
— SamWelchh (@SamWeIch) March 31, 2014
On September 14th 2004 in the Champions League group stages, Chelsea came out 3-0 winners away to Paris Saint-Germain with a goal from John Terry as shown above and two goals from Didier Drogba. However The Blues face a brand new PSG squad this year in the Champions League as we hope for an extremely exciting encounter.
Labeled as one of the best young players in the world Eden Hazard has the ability to cause problems with his quick dribbling and slick movement. A true menace on both wings, the PSG defenders will need to keep a close eye on him at all times or else they will surely pay the price.
Paris Saint-Germain vs. Chelsea: An Alternative Preview
Chelsea have played PSG twice in Europe before this season and have kept a clean sheet in both matches (excl. qualifiers).
Chelsea lost their only previous knockout tie against a French side in the Champions League (v Monaco in 2003-04).
Chelsea have conceded only two goals in their last seven Champions League matches.
Fernando Torres has averaged a goal every 157 minutes for Chelsea in European competition (15 in 34 apps).
Chelsea have not conceded a first half goal in any of their last nine Champions League matches.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has already scored 10 goals in seven Champions League appearances for PSG this season; his best return in a single CL season.
Paris St Germain have lost just one of their last 16 Champions League matches (W11 D4 L1).
No side has scored with a higher proportion of their shots than PSG (28.2%) this season in the CL.
Chelsea have kept a clean sheet in five of their eight CL games this season; a competition-high alongside Man Utd.
Paris St Germain have scored in 16 successive Champions League matches, netting at least twice in 12 of these games.