Champions League: Chelsea vs PSG preview
By Niall Clarke
- Chelsea host PSG in the second leg of their last 1 tie.
- The first leg finished 2-1 to the French side.
- John Terry is out, but Diego Costa is fit for Chelsea.
LONDON, ENGLAND- Chelsea will look to overturn a 2-1 deficit when they host French champions Paris Saint Germain in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League last 16 tie.
Edison Cavani’s strike at the Parc De Princes three weeks a go secured a one goal lead for PSG after the first leg, but crucially Chelsea grabbed an away goal, and only to have to win 1-0 to progress to the quarter finals.
The defeat in the French capital last month remains Guus Hiddink’s only blemish since taking over from Jose Mourinho as Chelsea boss.
It’s a familiar situation to both sets of supporters as in their meeting two seasons a go, the French side led 3-1 heading into the second leg, only to find their lead overturned by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in a 2-0 win for the Blues. Can Chelsea pull out more tricks out of the bag two years later?
If they are to do it, the Blues will have to manage without captain John Terry who is ruled out with a hamstring problem. The 35 year old has missed the last five matches with the injury sustained in the 5-1 win over Newcastle last month. Terry confirmed his absence over Instagram.
He said: “I’m gutted to be missing the PSG game. It’s so frustrating missing any game,but these big champions league nights at the bridge are unbelievable and it hurts as a player not to be involved.
“I have thrown everything at my injury trying to get back fit but sometimes you have to let the injury settle, and thankfully I’m on the mend and hope to be back soon.”
However, striker Diego Costa has been declared fit after missing the 1-1 draw against Stoke at the weekend with a minor tendon problem. Pedro has also been declared available by Hiddink.
PSG rested several players in a goalless draw against Montpellier on Saturday so are close to full strength heading into the game.
The biggest doubt is midfielder Marco Verratti and Serge Aurier is still under suspension after insulting Blanc and his team-mates in an online video. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, David Luiz and Thiago Silva are all set to return to the side after missing out at the weekend.
It is a hard match to call as both sides have enough quality to do their respective jobs. The key for Chelsea will be to keep the French side from scoring, a task made even more difficult with Terry’s absence.
It also must be noted that PSG have a wealth of attacking options so it is difficult seeing them not scoring on the night. That will force Chelsea into needing two goals to just take it to extra time, and with Costa likely to get frustrated it is hard to see where these goals might come from.
Chelsea will score first like they need to, but ultimately the French pressure will take it’s toll and PSG will equalise in the second half to confirm their place in the last eight.
Prediction: Chelsea 1-1 PSG (Willian, Cavani)
Chelsea vs PSG kicks off at 19:45 GMT.