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PSG - Match Preview


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Chelsea travel to Paris to take on Paris St Germain in the first leg of the Quarter finals of the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday night. The Blues suffered a morale-sapping loss away at Crystal Palace in the Premier League and will be looking to bounce back against a PSG side 13-points clear at the top of Ligue 1. PSG were Jose Mourinho's first European opponents as Chelsea manager with Chelsea coming on top with John Terry scoring (at the right end). But this is a very different side from 2004. The French club have had a transformation of sorts, accelerated by the Qatar Investment Authority's take over of the club in 2011 and are now close to their second Ligue 1 title in a row.

This may not have been the stand-out game when the draw was announced but it should be an intriguing contest between two sides with similar ambitions in the Champions League. Heading into the first leg, there is no clear favorite in this quarter-final tie.


PSG are unbeaten in Ligue 1 since the start of December and have won their last nine games in all competitions. Mourinho will need no reminding of the threat posed by Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is the 2nd-top scorer in the competition with 10 goals. In the Round of 16, PSG dispatched Bayer Leverkusen 6-1 on aggregate. Their most recent game against Nice ended 1-0 with Cavani forcing an own goal. With the game played on Friday, PSG were afforded an extra day of rest before the visit of Chelsea.

PSG is expected to control possession in this game and Chelsea will probably be happy to let them do that. It remains to be seen if Mourinho will field a 4-2-3-1 or a 4-3-3 as he has remained flexible with his formation this season but PSG is expected to line up in a 4-3-3 formation with the trio of Motta Matuidi and Verratti in midfield.

Expected Lineup - Sirigu - Jallet T.Silva Alex Maxwell - Motta Matuidi Verratti - Lavezzi Cavani Ibrahimovic


Ashley Cole (knee) and Samuel Eto'o(hamstring) are both injury doubts while Matic and Salah are ineligible. The back five picks itself for the Blues - as confirmed by Mourinho in his pre-match press conference - and with Eto'o injured, it should be Fernando Torres again up-front. The Spaniard has been preferred for away games either way.

It is in midfield that Mourinho is expected to ring the changes with one of the them forced by Matic's unavailability. Ramires, who sat out the ill-fated trip to Crystal Palace due to suspension, will fill in. Willian and Oscar may also return at the expense of Schurrle and Lampard.

Expected Lineup - Cech - Ivanovic Cahill Terry Azpilicueta - Ramires Luiz - Willian Oscar Hazard - Torres

Stats and facts

- PSG manager Laurent Blanc has a history with Mourinho as Blanc spent the 1996-97 season at Barcelona, where Mourinho served as a coach under Sir Bobby Robson.

- PSG are unbeaten in 28 European home games with their last loss coming in the UEFA Cup group stage against Hapoel Tel-Aviv in 2006

- PSG's only other European Cup semifinal came in 1994/95 when they lost out to AC Milan

- Chelsea are looking to book their place in a seventh semifinal in 11 campaigns.

- Chelsea faces a familiar face in Alex who made 135 appearances for the club between 2007 and 2012. Other players to have served both clubs are Claude Makelele, Nicolas Anelka and Mateja Kezman while Carlo Ancelotti led both sides to domestic titles.

- Chelsea have kept a competition high 5 cleansheets in their 8 Champions League games this season, They are yet to concede a first half goal in that run too.

- Chelsea lost their last knockout tie against French opposition (vs Monaco in 2004)

- Chelsea are unbeaten in their last eight Champions League knockout games (W5 D3) going back 2 years and 3 managers

Match Coverage

UK - Sky Sports 1/HD

US - Fox Sports 1 USA

France - Canal+ France

Australia - ESPN Australia

Middle East - beIN sports

Belgium - Belgacom 11+

Brazil - ESPN

For additional regions, you can check out the TV schedule for the match here.

There should be many match streams that can be found online if your local sports channels are not broadcasting the game or if you happen to be busy and cannot catch the game live, follow TalkChelsea on Twitter as it would provide live match commentary on the action.

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