Paris Saint-Germain vs. Chelsea
UEFA Champions League: Round of 16
Venue: Parc des Princes
Date: Tuesday; February 16; 2016
Kick off: 19:45 GMT
Referee: Carlos Velasco Carballo (ESP)
After battling at the same stage of the Champions League for the last two seasons, the French and English Champions meet again on Tuesday night for the first leg of their last-16 clash. Both teams are in good form and the game promises to be as fascinating and interesting battle. Chelsea’s injury problems, plus their inconsistencies, the in-form Ligue 1 giants appear favorites, but it’s hard to imagine the Blues, who are unbeaten under new manager will surrender easily.
PSG’s Ligue 1 record: P26– W22– D4– L0
Chelsea’s Premier League record: P26– W8– D9– L9
PSG’s Recent form: W-W-D-L-W-W
Recent form (all competitions): W-W-W-W-W-D
Chelsea’s Recent form: W-L-D-W-W-W
Recent form (all competitions): D-W-W-D-D-W
Head to Head Stats (Last 6 matches):
25-07-2015 PEN Paris Saint Germain 1 : 1* Chelsea
11-03-2015 Chelsea 2 : 2* Paris Saint Germain
17-02-2015 Paris Saint Germain 1 : 1 Chelsea
08-04-2014 Chelsea *2 : 0 Paris Saint Germain
02-04-2014 Paris Saint Germain 3 : 1 Chelsea
23-07-2012 Chelsea 1 : 1 Paris Saint Germain
PSG team news:
- The No.1 choice right-back Serge Aurier has been suspended by the club, over derogatory comments he made about coach Laurent Blanc and some of his team-mates.
- PSG are 44 domestic fixtures unbeaten and have not lost since matchday four.
- Paris’ run of 16 successive wins in all competitions ended when they drew 0-0 at home with LOSC Lille on Saturday. Laurent Blanc rested Zlatan Ibrahimović, Maxwell, Thiago Motta and Thiago Silva.
Chelsea team news:
- Radamel Falcao and Kurt Zouma are both sidelined through injury for Chelsea.
- The captain John Terry ruled out with hamstring injury.
- The Serbian midfielder Nemanja Matic is suspended.
- Baba Rahman is expected to feature at left-back, with Cesar Azpilicueta at the right, Branislav Ivanovic could be deployed as a central defender to start alongside Gary Cahill.
- Since Jose Mourinho was dismissed on 17 December, the Blues have gone 12 games unbeaten in all competitions.
What manager says
Laurent Blanc: “We all know our entire season will be judged on our Champions League campaign – for most media, not winning the league is not an option, and it would also look bad not to win both domestic cups. The Champions League is something else, because we only face clubs that have the same level or higher than us.”
Guus Hiddink: “I agree it’s 50-50 [for the tie]. Paris are building a very strong team, dominating the French league. To become a great club, a team must win the Champions League, and they’re certainly aiming for it. On our side, we’ve been improving since December, but it’ll be a great test to get to the next round.”
PSG predicted starting line-up: Trapp; Marquinhos, Silva, Luiz, Maxwell; Verratti, Motta, Matuidi; Di Maria, Ibrahimovic, Lucas Moura
Chelsea predicted starting line-up: Courtois; Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Cahill, Baba Rahman; Fabregas, Mikel, Hazard, Willian, Pedro; Costa
Players to watch:
Angel Di Maria – 31 appearances, 14 goals, 12 assists. The Argentinian international seems to be enjoying life in France more than his time in England and that’s comes across in his performances.
It’s hard to not to associate the former Manchester United winger with the gloomy sulking figure that spent much of his time at Old Trafford looking utterly exasperated by Louis van Gaal’s restrictive style of play, but he’s getting back to his best under Blanc.
Thibaut Courtois – The Belgian will be key to the Blues’ success in absence of skipper John Terry and his centre-back partner, Kurt Zouma. The 23-year-old suffered a knee injury early in the season but is now in good playing form and should be a leader of Chelsea’s weakened back line.
Courtois has already warned his teammates they will have to ‘defend well’ and admitted PSG’s reinforcements, adding Di Maria, will make them a much tougher opponent. “Last year we had a difficult game here as well. With Di Maria they’ve added quality to their team.”
Match facts (via whoscored.com):
- PSG have drawn their last 3 matches against Chelsea in all competitions.
- PSG have kept a clean sheet in 5 of their last 6 matches (UEFA Champions League).
- Chelsea have been winning at both half time and full time in their last 3 matches (UEFA Champions League).
- PSG have seen under 2.5 goals in 6 of their last 7 matches against Chelsea in all competitions.
- Chelsea have won their last 3 matches (UEFA Champions League).
- Chelsea have scored at least 2 goals in their last 3 matches (UEFA Champions League).
Prediction: PSG 1-0 Chelsea