Chelsea vs PSG: The battle of two capital giants

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Chelsea will have to quickly shake off another domestic set-back as they prepare to welcome PSG to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.

Although the result against Stoke now makes it 12 games for Guus Hiddink sans defeat – a Premier League record – the Blues will nonetheless be feeling quite disappointed after having to settle for a 1-1 draw. Still, with a must-win game against runaway Ligue 1 leaders PSG coming up on the horizon, the Dutch tactician will expect his men to quickly move on as they seek to get revenge on the same team that dumped them out of Europe at this same juncture last season.

In the first leg, John Obi Mikel – who was responsible for the foul and deflection that gave PSG their opening goal – went from zero to hero by scoring a vital away goal to keep Chelsea firmly in contention to progress. Thanks to the Nigerian’s effort, in theory, all Chelsea needs is a home goal, and of course, to keep the French champions quiet, but given the offensive firepower of Les Parisiens, this will be much easier said than done.

Hiddink will likely be missing captain John Terry for this game, as the veteran defender is still struggling with an injury, and former Barcelona attacker Pedro will have to be assessed after missing the past few games due to a hamstring problem. Having missed out on the draw with Stoke due to a tendon complaint, Diego Costa will be likely be re-instated into the starting XI and will be eager to get back to scoring ways. To date, the Brazilian-born Spanish international has found the back of the net just once in his past 15 Champions League games, with that solitary striker coming against Israeli outfit Maccabi Tel Aviv last September.

Meanwhile, Wednesday’s trip will be a special one for PSG ace Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The big Swede did not enjoy his visit to Stamford Bridge last year in which he was controversially sent off in the first half, and will be gunning for his own personal revenge this time around. At 34, time is running out for Ibrahimovic to get his hands on the trophy that has long eluded him: the Champions League.And now in his fourth season with Les Parisiens, the Swedish superstar will be hoping to help guide the cash-rich club past the quarter-finals, where they have fallen to Barcelona (twice) and Chelsea (once) in their past three attempts.

Moreover, Ibrahimovic, who to date has scored just three goals against Premier League opponents, will be seeking to net on English soil for the first time in nearly six years. The last time Sweden’s all-time top goalscorer was able to celebrate a goal in England was on March 31, 2010, when he grabbed a brace for Barcelona in the 2009/2010 quarter-finals.

Laurent Blanc will be concerned about the fitness of key midfielders  Blaise Matuidi and Marco Verratti for this game as the visitors seek to build upon their 2-1 advantage. This tie has been truly split down the middle: Chelsea and PSG both have won twice and drawn the other three out of their eight previous meetings, meaning that it truly will be anyone’s game in London on Wednesday evening.

At the end of 90 minutes – or possibly more – of action, one of these two wealthy capital powerhouses will be exiting the Champions League. Will it be Chelsea or PSG? Make sure you do not miss out on what will be an entertaining clash from kick-off to the final whistle.

MORE: Need matchday tickets? Get all your UEFA Champions League matchday tickets from Guaranteetickets.

Michelle Bonsu

Freelance football journalist based in New York. Primarily support AC Milan as well as the Ghanaian and Italian NT’s, but you’ll find me watching the Bundesliga and Premier League as well–enjoy a good game, regardless of where it’s being played. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is one of my favourite players.