Chelsea host Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain in the second leg of their Round of 16 Champions League tie at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, looking to overcome their 2-1 deficit from the first leg in Paris.
The Blues find themselves in the familiar position of having to beat PSG at Stamford Bridge to qualify for the next round of the Champions League knock-out stages. The absence of captain John Terry will make the task that much harder, but Guus Hiddink’s men have shown in recent games that they have the ability to grind out results.
Meanwhile, Laurent Blanc’s PSG will go into the decisive leg as the favourites, despite their indifferent domestic form. The Frenchman is sweating on the fitness of important midfield duo Marco Verratti and Blaise Matuidi, but does have enough firepower to get away goals at Stamford Bridge and maintain his side’s advantage over the Blues.
Possible starting XI (4-3-3): Courtois; Azpilicueta, Cahill, Ivanović (C), Baba Rahman; Mikel, Matić, Fàbregas; Hazard, Willian, Diego Costa
Possible starting XI (4-3-3): Trapp; Marquinhos, Thiago Silva (C), David Luiz, Maxwell; Motta, Verratti, Matuidi; Cavani, Ibrahimović, Di María
- Chelsea have reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League in 8 of the last 13 seasons
- PSG have failed to win 3 of their last 4 Ligue 1 fixtures going into Wednesday’s game — their worst run this season
- Chelsea have only ever suffered 2 defeats under Guus Hiddink in all competitions in both his tenures thus far
- PSG’s 2-2 draw against Chelsea last season was the only time they have scored on English soil in 6 attempts
- Diego Costa has scored just 1 goal in his last 15 Champions League games — and none in the knock-out rounds since converting a penalty against his current employers in 2014
Chelsea 1 – 1 PSG
Although Chelsea’s attacking players have gained confidence and have improved since the arrival of Guus Hiddink, there are still significant defensive issues which a team of PSG’s quality can undoubtedly exploit. The Blues will likely score at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, but keeping a clean sheet will be considerably more difficult. A score draw is a likely outcome.