For a third successive season, Paris Saint-Germain have been paired with Chelsea in the knock-out stages of the Champions League. With it currently standing at one victory apiece, who will come out on top in their latest confrontation?
PSG LOOK TO QUARTER-FINAL’S FOR THE FOURTH CONSECUTIVE YEAR
Having signed an extension to his current contract in the French capital, PSG coach Laurent Blanc now goes in search of his sides fourth consecutive appearance in the quarter-finals of Europe’s premier club competition. The French champions saw their 16 game winning run in all competitions come to an end at the weekend when they were held to a goalless draw at the Parc des Princes by Lille. There was good news despite their slight hic-cup however, with both Marco Verratti (who also signed a contract extension this week) and Javier Pastore (*4.33 on the best sports betting sites to be an anytime scorer) returning to the first-team after their respective lay-offs. The Parisian’s remain unbeaten on their own patch in this season’s Champions League after victories against Malmo and Shakhtar Donetsk and a goalless draw against Real Madrid, helped Blanc’s side to second-place in their qualifying group.
CHELSEA HOPING TO IMPROVE ON POOR AWAY RECORD IN FRANCE
Gus Hiddink’s men head to the French capital looking to improve on a record that has seen the club from West London win just one of their seven visits to face French sides in European competition. They depart however, on the back of a resounding 5-1 demolition against Newcastle United on Saturday in which they produced probably their best performance of the season so far. The Blues are now looking to reach the last eight for the fourth time in six years and they are currently quoted on the best football betting sites at *2.37 to triumph over the two legs. Since the departure of Jose Mourinho in December of last year, Chelsea have gone 12 games unbeaten in all competitions but that statistic is a little misleading, having drawn six of Hiddink’s 11 matches in charge. The amiable Dutchman is a former European Cup winner, having led PSV Eindhoven to glory in 1988.
Having rested a number of first-team players last weekend, Blanc looks set to recall Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Lucas Moura, Angel Di Maria, Marco Verratti and Thiago Silva to the starting XI. Serge Aurier however, will not be in the squad for the visit of Chelsea, having been suspended by the club after a scathing attack on both his coach and teammates via social media this weekend. The French champions are expected to line-up in their usual attacking 4-3-3 formation.
John Terry is the big worry for Chelsea ahead of Tuesday, after the defender injured an ankle in Saturday’s win over Newcastle United. Kurt Zouma is out for the season after damaging his cruciate knee ligament in the recent draw against Manchester United with striker Radamel Falcao also sidelined. England international Gary Cahill is expected to return to the heart of the defence.
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
Chelsea (from) Courtois, Begovic, Blackman, Collins, Ivanovic, Zouma, Baba, Miazga, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Aina, Fabregas, Oscar, Hazard, Mikel, Traore, Kenedy, Matic, Willian, Loftus-Cheek, Pedro, Remy, Costa, Pato
HEAD TO HEAD
The two sides have met on six previous occasions in the Champions League, Chelsea having the current edge with two wins to one. The side from West London have not beaten PSG at the Parc des Princes since 2004, when they won 3-0 in the group stage of that season’s competition. Their most recent meeting in the French capital ended in a 1-1 draw just 12 months ago in the round of the last 16, PSG eventually making it to the quarter-finals.
PSG 1.70 Draw 3.80 Chelsea 5.75
*odds courtesy of Bet365