Chelsea v Paris Saint-Germain Champions League Match Preview, Prediction & Head to Head
CHELSEA READY TO EXACT REVENGE ON FRENCH CHAMPIONS
Gus Hiddink’s side look set to put all their focus into the Champions League after last weekend’s home draw against Stoke City, effectively ended any hopes of gaining entry into next season’s competition. Their only way in now looks to be by winning this year’s competition and they start a goal down to PSG at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday evening in their last 16 second-leg tie. The West London club will take comfort, however, in knowing that they are unbeaten in seven home games against French opposition, keeping five clean sheets in the process. It’s the third successive season that the two have been drawn together in the competition and the Premier League champions are looking to reach their fourth quarter-final in six years. Their record of turning around a first-leg deficit in European competition is OK, but not stunning, having successfully come through on eight occasions. A ninth one will be difficult, but far from impossible.
PSG LOOKING TO BREAK CHELSEA HEARTS ONCE AGAIN
Last season’s 2-2 epic at the same stage of the competition, saw the French champions through to their third successive quarter-final. Coach Lauren Blanc will hope that history repeats itself on Wednesday and past statistics suggest it will; having won 11 out of 15 games where they have led after the first-leg. The club’s league form since the first meeting has been a little erratic, only winning one of their last three games, but Blanc has been able to rotate his squad safe in the knowledge that his team has a whopping 23 point lead over closest challengers Monaco. The Champions League has become an obsession for the club’s wealthy owners and their huge financial outlay is all geared to winning club football’s biggest prize; the best football betting sites currently quote them at *10.00, to do just that.
John Terry will miss Wednesday’s game for Chelsea as he continues to suffer from the hamstring injury he picked up in mid-February. Pedro is also suffering from the same problem and it will mean a watching brief for him too. Defender Kurt Zouma is out for the season after suffering knee ligament damage. On the plus side for Hiddink, Nemanja Matić is available for selection, having been suspended for the first leg.
Italian midfielder Marco Verratti is a doubt for PSG but Argentine play-maker Angel Di Maria could start, after he successfully made his comeback from a thigh injury in last weekend’s game against Montpellier. Brazilian defender David Luiz (a scorer in the corresponding match last season and quoted at *9.50 on the betting exchanges to repeat the feat on Wednesday) and striker Zlatan Ibrahimovich, are just one booking away from a suspension.
THE SQUADS FOR STAMFORD BRIDGE
Chelsea (from) Courtois, Begovic, Blackman, Collins, Ivanovic, Baba, Miazga, Cahill, Azpilicueta, Aina, Fabregas, Oscar, Hazard, Mikel, Traore, Kenedy, Matic, Willian, Loftus-Cheek, Remy, Costa, Pato
PSG (from) Trapp, Douchez, Sirigu, Silva, Kimpembe, Marquinhos, Maxwell, Kurzawa, van der Wiel, Luiz, Stambouli, Verratti, Lucas, Motta, Di Maria, Matuidi, Rabiot, Pastore, Cavani, Ibrahimovic, Augustin
HEAD TO HEAD
Both teams have two wins apiece out of their previous seven meetings, with both games at the same stage last season ending in draws; the Parisians eventually going through on away goals. PSG is the only side to inflict defeat on Gus Hiddink since he took over at Chelsea last December. The club from the French capital have faced English opposition on 12 previous occasions, winning just three times. Chelsea has faced sides from across the English Channel 15 times, winning just five.
Chelsea 2.80 Draw 3.40 PSG 2.70
*odds courtesy of Bet365
By: Steve Mitchell