PARIS SAINT GERMAIN
Stamford Bridge, London
April 08, 2014; 19:45 BST
Chelsea FC host PSG in the second leg of their Champions league quarter-final tie at Stamford Bridge tomorrow as they look to overturn a two-goal deficit from the first leg. The last time PSG visited this stadium in this competition, the match ended in a 0-0 draw and the French side will be glad with a similar result this around as well.
Jose Mourinho expressed his discontent at his side’s defensive performance in the first leg as his side conceded three goal – all of which arrived from individual mistakes. His side responded well and bounced back against Stoke City with a 3-0 win at the weekend. It was their first win in their last three matches and Mourinho will hope that his side can continue this momentum against PSG. The Blues do have an impressive home record and have been unbeaten at this ground since the defeat against Basel earlier this season.
PSG on the other hand are coming into this game on the back of a 3-0 win over Reims as they edged closed to lifting the league title. Despite their win in the first leg, PSG weren’t really at their fluent best in the game and benefited from some sloppy defending by Chelsea. Laurent Blanc knows that his side will have to be at their best at Stamford Bridge, despite the big lead from the first leg.
Team news and tactics
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho doesn’t have any new injury concerns ahead of this game. Andre Schurrle, who was substituted in the second half of their game against Stoke City, picked up a foot injury, but is expected to be fit in time for this match against PSG – although he is unlikely to start. Samuel Eto’o, who missed the trip to Paris in the first leg after failing to recover from his hamstring injury in time, could feature in this game. But Jose Mourinho has insisted that it might be a risk to start him against PSG.
Mohamed Salah and Nemanja Matic are ineligible to participate in this year’s competition for the Blues and will once again be unavailable for selection. Ramires will also miss out on this game as he serves his suspension after picking up another yellow card in the first leg. There are also doubts about the fitness of John Obi Mikel ahead of this game.
Mourinho opted to start without a natural striker in the first leg as he opted to start Andre Schurrle in the role of ‘false nine’ as he looked to control the game and hit PSG on the counter attack. But having conceded a two-goal lead in the first leg, Chelsea will have to push for goals from the start in this game.
The Chelsea manager is expected to make three changes to the starting line-up he used against Stoke City in the last match. Eden Hazard and Oscar, who started on the bench in the last game, will return to the starting eleven in place of Schurrle and Salah. While in midfield David Luiz, who scored an own goal in the first leg, will partner Frank Lampard as Mourinho is short on options in this match. If Mikel regains his match fitness ahead of the second leg, Mourinho could also use him to partner Lampard at the center of the park.
Expected starting line-up (4-2-3-1): Cech (GK); Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Luiz, Lampard; Willian, Oscar, Hazard; Torres
Unlike Jose Mourinho, Laurent Blanc doesn’t have too many injury concerns to contain with ahead of this fixture, although he will miss a key player in the second leg. Zlatan Ibrahimovic was substituted in the 68th minute of the first leg against Chelsea after he felt muscular pain. Laurent Blanc was unsure about the extent of the injury at that moment but PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi later confirmed that the Swedish international will be out of action for a minimum of four weeks due to a thigh injury.
Having secured a big gap over Monaco at the top of the table, Laurent Blanc had the luxury of resting a lot of his key players at the weekend. He used a 4-2-3-1 formation against Reims as they cruised to a 3-0 win, but he is expected to switch back to a 4-3-3 formation against Chelsea. The French club will look to sit deep and absorb the pressure from the home side and then look hit them on the counter attack using pace on the wings.
Laurent Blanc is expected to make five changes to the line-up he used against Reims. Alex will return to the center of the defence alongside Thiago Silva as Marquinhos drops back to the bench. Adrien Rabot and Yohan Cabaye will make way for Marco Verratti, Thiago Motta and Blaise Matuidi as Blanc changes to a three-man midfield.
Lucas Moura will replace Zlatan Ibrahimovic in attack as Edinson Cavani moves to his favoured central role. The former Napoli striker has recently expressed his discontent at being played out wide and this will once again provide him a big stage to prove a point to Laurent Blanc.
Expected starting line-up (4-3-3): Sirigu (GK); Wiel, Alex, Silva, Maxwell; Verratti, Motta, Matuidi; Moura, Cavani, Lavezzi
Players to watch-out for: Eden Hazard (Chelsea); Marco Verratti (PSG)
Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 PSG