A huge match on Wednesday night as Chelsea host PSG in the Last 16 of the Champions League. Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) takes a look at the game for us.
Chelsea v PSG | Wednesday 19:45 | BT Sport Europe
Chelsea were written off by many three weeks ago when they squared up to PSG in the opening leg of this Champions League Last 16 tie. That dismissiveness proved to be harsh though as the London club only went 2-1 down in the French capital.
While PSG dominated the game that night Chelsea emerged with real credit. The makeshift back line of Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic withstood attack after attack by the Parisians but they stood firm. It’s everything we’ve learned to accept from Chelsea in this competition in recent years.
While this side simply doesn’t stand up to the great Blues sides of the past there feels almost something in the Chelsea DNA which makes them excel in this competition.
Winners in 2012, runners-up in 2008, they reached the semi-finals in 2014 despite being off the pace in the Premier League. Even this season, with the backdrop of an unprecedented poor Premier League season hanging over them, they still managed to win their group and lost just one of their six matches.
Since Guus Hiddink replaced the toxic Jose Mourinho the week before Christmas they’ve gone on a superb unbeaten run of 15 domestic matches. I’m not sure enough has been made of that although if we’re honest they’ve grinded through these matches rather than blitzing opposition.
PSG have won just one of their last four Ligue 1 matches but still remain a huge 23 points clear of the chasing pack and are on the cusp of clinching the title.
Is their dip in form cause for concern or are they simply now moving attention and focus towards the Champions League with league matches all but done and dusted?
PSG accrued the same number of points as Chelsea in the group stages but had a much tougher group as they were pitted alongside Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk and Malmo.
Interestingly they scored double the number of goals away from home than they did at home during their group (eight goals compared to four) so that’s something to bear in mind.
Another crucial thing to bear in mind is the lack of Chelsea clean sheets under this new regime. In the 16 matches since Mourinho left clean sheets have arrived on only four occasions and indeed they’ve leaked in every one of their last seven games.
With those stats at hand I’m amazed to see Both Teams To Score trading as big as 5/6 with Coral. Chelsea need to score here obviously while PSG have the firepower to capitalise on the Blues’ shaky defence.
The avenue I’ll walk down is both teams to score in an Over 2.5 Goals match. That’s available to back at 13/10 with William Hill. I can see Chelsea scoring and that will of course prod PSG into action.
Chelsea v PSG – Over 2.5 Goals and Both Teams To Score (13/10 William Hill)
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