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All signs point to a businesslike Chelsea victory when PSG come to Stamford Bridge

11 Mar | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
All signs point to a businesslike Chelsea victory when PSG come to Stamford Bridge

On the face of it, the Champions League tie may still be in the balance after a 1-1 draw in Paris. But the odds are stacked in the hosts' favour

If Chelsea were in confident mood going into the first leg of their Champions League last 16 meeting with Paris Saint-Germain, you dread to think how buoyant the mood in the camp will be ahead of Wednesday’s return leg at Stamford Bridge.

A 1-1 draw in Paris may not have settled the tie, but the signs certainly look ominous for Laurent Blanc’s side.

Exhibit A: Last season’s games between the sides. PSG managed an impressive 3-1 win in the first leg 12 months ago, meaning they travelled to London with the scent of the quarter-finals in their nostrils. But even that two-goal cushion proved insufficient; Chelsea dug deep and ground out a 2-0 win at home to progress on away goals. 

Since then, of course, Chelsea’s starting XI has improved markedly from the one used that night: Samuel Eto’o has been upgraded to Diego Costa, while Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas form a far more convincing midfield pairing than did Frank Lampard and David Luiz. You could argue that PSG will also be stronger (Zlatan Ibrahimovic missed out for the Ligue 1 side at Stamford Bridge last time out), but you would be grasping at straws.

Exhibit B: Chelsea’s form. The first leg was the opening act in what looked like a defining chapter in Chelsea’s season, with the League Cup final on the agenda between Premier League games against Burnley and West Ham. A tetchy home draw to the Clarets threatened to shake the foundations – thanks, Ashley Barnes – but Jose Mourinho’s side have recovered well, seeing off Spurs at Wembley and beating Sam Allardyce’s side. True, Manchester City’s travails have helped them remain comfortable in the Premier League, but the Blues have done well to keep on track despite injuries and suspensions.

Exhibit C: Distractions for PSG. On the face of it, Les Parisiens are in better shape now than they were in mid-February, having emerged from a poor run with three wins in their last four in all competitions. But with his side now top of Ligue 1 (albeit having played one game more than Lyon), Blanc may feel that domestic matters now take priority given how the first leg went.

The verdict is in, amigos: pencil Chelsea in for a quarter-final spot courtesy of a commanding – if slightly tedious – victory in front of their fans.