Chelsea vs PSG preview: Five things to expect, including a real test of Chelsea's Champions League credentials

The Blues hold a slight advantage with their away goal

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The Independent Football

JOSE MOURINHO TO PLAY IT SAFE - AT LEAST TO START WITH

Despite Chelsea's improved attacking intent in matches this season, Jose Mourinho remains a naturally cautious manager, especially in the biggest games.

One only has to look at the Capital One Cup final to see the evidence. A naive Spurs dominated possession and had more shots at goal, but Chelsea - playing with a very defensive 4-3-3 picked their moments and found a way to win in the end.

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Thanks to Branislav Ivanovic Chelsea have a slight advantage because of the away goal and Mourinho will want to hold onto that advantage for as long as possible. Don't expect Chelsea to come out of the blocks firing.

AN IMPROVED PSG PROVIDING A REAL TEST FOR THE BLUES

Paris Saint-Germain were undoubtedly the better team when the two met in the first leg and, in theory, should be better tonight as they have a couple of key players back from injury.

Javier Pastore is fully fit after only managing the final 10 minutes a couple of weeks back and since returning he has a goal and two assists with PSG winning three and drawing one of their four games since then.

Laurent Blanc's team entered the first leg on the back of a couple of poor draws, this time they beat rivals Monaco to reach the semi-finals of the French Cup and last weekend battered struggling Lens 4-1.

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PSG were the better team in the first leg but Chelsea will know to play it safe again

 

DIEGO COSTA TO BREAK HIS EURO DUCK

As outlined here, the Spanish striker is suffering a little bit in front of goal at the moment (that was definitely an own goal in the Cup final) and he is yet to score in seven matches in the Champions League this season.

He failed to have an attempt at goal in the Parc des Princes as Chelsea held on for a 1-1 draw, but the Spaniard remains a brilliant target man and will surely get a chance at the Bridge - you'd back him to take it.

DAVID LUIZ TO GET A MIXED RECEPTION

The curly-haired Brazilian will return to Stamford Bridge for the first time since his massive move to France last summer - but don't expect the home fans to give him the warmest of welcomes.

Sure, there will be plenty of fans in the crowd who will give Luiz a hearty round of applause, he was excellent in the Champions League final win against Bayern Munich after all. But given his mixed time in west London, plenty more will act indifferently. Even Frank Lampard, arguably Chelsea's greatest ever player, didn't get everyone off their feet when he returned, having left for rivals Manchester City.

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David Luiz is back at Stamford Bridge for the first time

CHELSEA TO PROGRESS

Prediction time: Chelsea will be in the quarter-final draw. This team and their manager have seen it all before, they are too long in the tooth to allow PSG - a good but not great team - back into the game.

It probably won't be a classic, but as long as Chelsea progress Mourinho and Co won't care for a second.

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