Preview – Chelsea travel to Paris to face PSG with a glimmer of hope

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Updated: February 15, 2016
Manchester United vs Chelsea

Chelsea travel to Paris to face off against Paris St Germain for the first leg of the Champions League round of 16 on Tuesday in what is expected to be a game where all odds are stacked against the Londoners. This would mark the third time in as many years that the two sides are meeting in Europe’s elite competition, with the spoils being shared thus far.

While Chelsea are going into the game on the back of their worst domestic seasons in recent history, PSG are on quite a roll, having already seemingly wrapped up their league. But a thing to note would be Chelsea’s recent resurgence under Guus Hiddink, going on an unbeaten run of 12 games, but that run pales against PSG’s current 32-match streak.

Compared to the last time the sides met, Chelsea are a more balanced side but lack a cutting edge. Also, Chelsea’s best player last time out, Eden Hazard, isn’t his usual self. Counting the positives, Costa, Fabregas and Pedro are slowly starting to come into their own. As for the negatives, Chelsea’s backline is in absolute disarray, with Terry and Zouma injured and Azpilicueta having to do the work of two players at time. Ivanovic and Cahill, who have both been sub par for long periods this season, will have a rather daunting task on their hands.

As far as PSG are concerned, one key signing for the Parisians has made a lot of difference to Laurent Blanc’s side, transforming them from a domestic threat into a continental powerhouse – Angel Di Maria. After a troubled time in Manchester, he decided that a move best suited all parties and PSG happily stumped up the required cash. He has settled in a terrific manner and Chelsea will surely be concerned about his attacking threat.

PSG will be without Serge Aurier, who decided to act like a teenage boy having his first dalliance with social media this week and has been suspended by the club. Gregory Van der Wiel is expected to take his place. Also, Blanc is sweating over the fitness of Marco Veratti and Javier Pastore, who are subject to a late fitness test.

Date: Tuesday, 16th February

Time: 7:45PM GMT

Venue: Parc des Princes, Paris

TV Info: Check your listings here

Chelsea are not favorites to win in Paris, but don’t be surprised if they do come away with a draw. Costa has looked menacing lately and Pedro will be eager to face off against a non-Premier League defense. One thing is certain: this seems all set to be another entertaining affair, as these ties have proven to be in the past few years.

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