Chelsea vs PSG – Counting down with hope

Updated: March 9, 2016
Manchester United vs Chelsea

Chelsea take on Paris Saint-Germain tonight in the second leg of the Champions League Round of 16. Their task is certainly cut out for them as the French side already have a foot in the quarter-finals having secured a 2-1 home win in February.

This is a tie that could overhaul Chelsea’s fortunes for the remainder of the season. The Blues have lost just once since Guus Hiddink took over and steadied the ship after it waded into troubled waters under fan favorite Jose Mourinho. However, that solitary loss came against PSG.

To say that the Blues stepped up in the first leg against PSG would be an understatement as they looked set to return without a goal’s deficit before a momentary lapse in concentration led to Cavani running in behind the defense. All in all, a repeat of the same performance, barring the error, should be enough to see Chelsea advance. The good news is that Chelsea have recently gained form, while PSG are coming off the back of a loss and a draw.

In the first leg, Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored to put the Parisiens ahead, before John Obi Mikel equalized, taking him even closer to Frank Lampard’s record of being Chelsea’s highest scoring midfielder, albeit only 205 goals behind. Then, in the dying minutes, Edinson Cavani put PSG ahead and into a comfortable position to travel to London.

Team News

One thing that could hurt Chelsea is the absence of Captain, Leader, Legend John Terry, due to injury. Terry took to Instagram to clear the air about his absence.

He wrote: “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, vice-captain Branislav Ivanovic has stepped in immaculately (to the surprise of many a Chelsea fan), forming a miserly partnership with Gary Cahill. He even looks to have ironed out his error-prone status at right back days in recent games.

Good news comes in the form of Pedro returning from an injury he sustained in the first leg. Also, recent rumors about Gary Cahill being sidelined with an ankle issue have been brushed aside by the man himself. Thank goodness!

The news from the PSG camp is that Serge Aurier is still suspended and Blaise Matuidi and Marco Veratti’s participation in the match is subject to a late fitness test. However, this could just be the latest entry in the Laurent Blanc dossier of mind games, so put no stock into it until the lineups are out.

PSG’s Twitter page indirectly called Chelsea’s hit man, Diego Costa, a fraud. Well if that doesn’t stoke Costa’s fire for Champions League goals then nobody knows what will, as he last scored in the competition in September against Maccabi Tel Aviv. So, bad call, PSG? Maybe.

Speaking of hitmen, Edinson Cavani, the face Chelsea fans have come to loathe since the Uruguayan’s Napoli days, is yet to score at Stamford Bridge.

The referee for this tie will be Felix Brych, a face Chelsea fans should remember fondly from the Champions League winning run in 2012, as the man taking control of proceedings in the second leg turnaround against Napoli and the first leg win against Barcelona.

PSG are the odds-on favorite to qualify, but Chelsea are in with a genuine shot. John Terry will be missed, but the reigning English champions should be able to cope with it.

Timings: 9th March, 9:45PM kickoff

TV Details: Check here

Venue: Stamford Bridge, London

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