Paris-Saint Germain V Chelsea – Tuesday 17th February. 7:45PM. ITV 1
The Champions League is back and the pick of Tuesday’s action serves up a mouth-watering clash from the Parc des Princes as two of Europe’s richest clubs revive their rivalry for a place in the quarter-finals.
Chelsea recorded a memorable second-leg turnaround at Stamford Bridge when the sides met in last year’s quarter-finals, but Jose Mourinho will be determined to see his side perform much better on French soil this time around. However, they know it won’t be easy against the Ligue 1 champions.
Prepare yourselves for a cracker!
PSG Dare To Zlatan
It has been a difficult season for Laurent Blanc’s men, who have endured a stuttered defence of their Ligue 1 title. However, there is no denying their obvious talent and this is a team more than capable of rising to the big occasion.
They showed that superbly with an incredible 3-2 win over Barcelona in the group stage and the French giants will be hoping to channel that positivity ahead of this crucial clash. Meanwhile, the memories of last year’s 3-1 home victory over Chelsea will serve as another huge inspiration as they look to establish an advantage before the Stamford Bridge return in two weeks time.
PSG’s multi-million pound squad is full of quality all over the park but star man Zlatan Ibrahimovic will naturally pose the biggest threat. The Swedish superstar is one of the world’s best players and is one of the few players capable of winning a game of this magnitude all by himself.
However, PSG are missing a number of other players, including Lucas Moura and Yohan Cabaye. That lack of options from the bench could prove crucial in the latter stages but Blanc’s men will still certainly fancy their chances.
Chelsea Out To Prove Their Credentials
Last year’s second-leg turnaround was incredible, but Mourinho’s men are much better equipped this time around and the Premier League leaders will want to prove their Champions League credentials in style.
The Blues topped their group with minimal fuss and beating PSG in France would fire a huge warning to Europe’s other elite contenders. Chelsea definitely boast the players to make that a reality, but their main priority will be to avoid a similar first-leg score as last term.
However, PSG are a wounded animal right now. Whislt that could make the Parisians dangerous, Chelsea will be eager to sniff out any weakness and ready to pounce should the opportunity arise. If the home side show the same level of ineptness in the midfield as in recent weeks, we can expect the likes of Eden Hazard to really shine.
It won’t be easy for Chelsea, but we think they’ll come away with a decent result.
Paris-Saint Germain V Chelsea Betting
Whilst Chelsea are the overwhelming favourites to qualify over two legs, this first match in Paris is particularly difficult to call. This is represented to perfection by Bet365’s odds, as the bookmakers have priced both teams at 9/5. Meanwhile, the draw is available at 9/4.
PSG will carry a threat, but Chelsea have been in the far better form over the course of this campaign and that should show here. Likewise, the hosts could be mentally fatigued after conceding two late goals to Caen on Saturday whilst the Blues will be fully refreshed after enjoying a weekend off.
A score draw would be a great result for the Blues and we don’t think they’ll necessarily chase a win. However, we think they hold all the aces in this match and would be far more comfortable backing them. At just under evens, the ‘draw no bet’ option looks a fantastic proposition.
Chelsea DNB @ 19/20 with Coral
There has been no secrets about PSG’s adulation of Eden Hazard in recent transfer windows but the Belgian star has remained at Stamford Bridge and could be a great shout to cause more heartache for the French hosts.
Hazard has suggested that he needs to score more goals if he is to reach the very highest echelons of world football and there couldn’t be a better time to start.
Eden Hazard is 8/1 to score first with Bet365