PSG vs Chelsea: Champions League match preview

A look ahead to tonight’s Champions League last-16 first leg at the Parc des Princes

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The Independent Football

Chelsea travel to Paris knowing they came through a two-legged affair in last season’s Champions League quarter-finals, although they won’t look back too fondly on their previous trip to the Parc des Princes.

LIVE: PSG vs Chelsea latest

The Blues suffered a 3-1 defeat to PSG in first leg as Ezequiel Lavezzi, Javier Pastore and a David Luiz own-goal, but a Eden Hazard penalty in the first half registered the crucial away goal that would carry Jose Mourinho’s side through.

Chelsea went on to win 2-0 in the second leg, with the now departed pair of Andre Schurrle and Demba Ba scoring to set-up a semi-final encounter with Atletico Madrid. While they scraped through by the skin of their teeth, Chelsea can certainly take confidence from the aggregate victory as well as the fact that they are a much stronger outfit this season.

That comes partly down to the sale of defender David Luiz to, of all teams, PSG. Gary Cahill and Kurt Zouma have alternated this season as John Terry’s playing partner in a reliable back-four, and they can be quietly confident of keeping a clean sheet over both ties providing they are at their best.

 

Diego Costa will also return from suspension having served the three-match ban he received for stamping on Liverpool’s Emre Can, but Mourinho has already expressed his concern at the striker’s lack of playing time and subsequent match fitness.

PSG will look towards talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic to inspire them to victory and consecutive Champions League quarter-final appearances.

KICK-OFF: Tonight, 7.45pm.

PAST THREE MEETINGS:

Chelsea 2 PSG 0, Champions League QF second-leg, 8 April 2014

PSG 3 Chelsea 1, Champions League QF first-leg, 2 April 2014

Chelsea 0 PSG 0, Champions League group stage, 24 Nov 2004

STATS:

Cesc Fabregas has assisted 19 goal sin 32 games in all competitions for Chelsea this season, 11 more than any other player.

For Chelsea goalkeepers - Petr Cech has kept six clean sheets in 13 appearances this season, No 1 Thibaut Courtois has kept 10 clean sheets in 23 games.

TV: Live on ITV 1, from 7.30.

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