By Niall Clarke
- Paris Saint Germain vs Chelsea preview
- This is the third straight season they have met each other
- PSG knocked Chelsea out last season
PARIS, FRANCE- Chelsea will travel to the French capital in hope of doing what only Real Madrid have done this campaign, defeat Paris Saint Germain.
The French champions have bulldozed virtually all comers so far this season, going unbeaten domestically and losing only that one match in 39 games in the 2015/16 campaign.
Chelsea on the other hand are still attempting to turn around a disastrous start to the season under new manager Guus Hiddink. The Blues are unbeaten in 12 games and are coming into the match off the back of a 5-1 thrashing of Newcastle United on Saturday.
Winning the Champions League is the Chelsea’s only chance to return to the competition next year and Hiddink is hoping to keep his side’s confidence high heading into the crucial first leg on Tuesday.
“They have much more rest than we have but we must consider when the Premier League teams play in Europe to give them an extra day’s recovery,” said Hiddink after the Newcastle match. “The second day after a performance with intensity is for rest and recovery, but we have to prepare for this game.
“It will be much more difficult [against PSG], but this game gave confidence to the team. We have to go there and play with the confidence we showed today.”
PSG were held to a rare goalless draw against Lille at the weekend but are still a jaw dropping 24 points clear in Ligue 1. But manager Laurent Blanc has been set the task of turning that domestic form into Europe and lead the club to their first Champions League success.
The Frenchman rested a few key players at the weekend to keep his side fresh heading into the first leg.
“Of course the match against Chelsea is important but there is also the return game, and I hope there will be others,” he said. “We have to think also about the end of our season, which could be interesting, I hope. The match is important, but it is played over two confrontations.”
The home side will be without midfielder Marco Verratti, who is recovering from a groin injury, and Javier Pastore who ahs a calf problem.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva and Maxwell are expected to return to the side after missing out in the 0-0 draw with Lille, but Serge Aurier will likely not return to the side after controversial video footage emerged over the weekend of the Ivorian using derogatory terms to describe Blanc and some of his teammates.
Chelsea will be without Kurt Zouma who is out for the season whilst Captain John Terry will also miss the game with a Hamstring injury picked up at the weekend. New signings Matt Miazga and Alexandre Pato could be included in the squad as a result.
This is the third straight season in which these two sides have met with both teams splitting the winnings on away goals. It promises to be a thrilling tie, who will go into the second leg at Stamford Bridge with the advantage?
PSG vs Chelsea will kick off at 19:45 on Tuesday.
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