Two unexpected defeats in the last four games have resulted in Chelsea surrendering their lead at the top in the Barclays Premier League.A 1-0 loss at Villa Park on the 15th of March was followed by a defeat at Crystal Palace by the same score line last Saturday and the Blues really need to pull their socks up if they are to achieve anything this season.
However Chelsea have no time to ponder over their league situation as they face a stiff test in the form of a PSG side who are undefeated in their last 13 matches in all competitions and have won their last nine.
Unlike Chelsea who face a stern challenge for the league title, Les Parisiens enjoy a comfortable 13 point league at the top of the table in the French Ligue 1 and will be more focused on the European tie on Wednesday.
Furthermore the defending French champions have a commendable home record having lost just once in their last 38 matches in all competitions. Moreover PSG have in their side two of the most lethal strikers in the world in the form of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani. Ibra in particular has been enjoying a ravishing season. The big Swede has scored 10 goals so far in the Champions League in just seven appearances and is only behind Cristiano Ronaldo in the scorers chart.
In the Ligue 1 the former Barcelona man is top scorer by a margin, where the 32 year old has found the net 25 times. His Uruguayan teammate Cavani on the other hand is enjoying quite a decent debut season in France having scored a combined 18 goals in the Champions League and the Ligue 1.
However despite PSG’s supremacy, the capital side’s talismanic striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has declared Chelsea to be “super favorites” for the tie.
"We're in the quarterfinals, and we're playing against a fantastic team. We have nothing to lose and we are quite new to this competition while Chelsea have been there for the last ten years. They have won the Europa League, the Champions League, they're a very good team. Chelsea are a big club. It'll be very exciting. I think Chelsea are the super favourites," said Ibra.
The mercurial forward however added that the Blues will face a very improved PSG side which has come in leaps and bounds over the last year.
"There's a big difference between our team from last year," he said.
"It's the second year we're playing together, we're a lot better now. We know each other better. There are new players who have arrived, but some of them have taken on a lot of responsibility. Collectively, we are better. Last year, everything was new, we played more individually. Now we know each other a lot better. We're better as a team."
Les Rouge-et-Bleu had a disappointing end to their European endeavors last season when they were knocked out by Barcelona on away goals in the Quarter-Finals but will be looking to make amends this time around. Their determination to do well this time was evident from their 6-1 thrashing on aggregate of German side Bayer Leverkusen in the round of 16.
Jose Mourinho’s first Champions League game as the manager of Chelsea came back in September 2004 against PSG, a fixture which the Blues dominated racing to a 3-0 victory at the Parc des Princes. However this time around it will be a very different challenge altogether for the Portuguese as well as his side.
Chelsea will be desperate to bounce back from their 1-0 defeat at Crystal Palace last time out, a result which can potentially cost them the league title. However apart from the two surprising losses Chelsea have had a fine season so far and have enough firepower in their roster to get the better of PSG.
With Fernando Torres misfiring, Chelsea are also expected to be without Cameroon international Samuel Eto'o who is a major doubt for the match. David Luiz was withdrawn at half time in the match against Crystal Palace after a knock to his shin but the Brazilian international is expected to make the cut. Ramires who missed the weekend Premier League match due to suspension will return to the side but must be careful since he is just one caution away from a ban in the Champions League as well.
PSG on the other hand will be without first choice right back Gregory Van der Wiel, French international Christophe Jallet is expected to deputize in his place. The likes of former Chelsea man Alex as well as Verratti and Matuidi were rested in the weekend tie against Nice and are expected to take field on Wednesday.
Watch PSG vs Chelsea live on Wednesday, April 02, 2014:
Fans in Australia can catch the action live on ESPN Australia
For complete details of match listings and live scores, visit the PSG vs Chelsea match page.
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