Chelsea's season is quickly winding down, and every match is crucial at this point if the Blues hope to finish with any silverware. While Chelsea now need Manchester City to do them some favors to have any hope of winning the Premier League, their quest to win their second Champions League is still 100% in their own hands.
That push resumes tomorrow, when the London side head to Paris to take on PSG. This will be the first truly difficult test the club have faced in Europe this season, and a good result would go a long way toward making most fans view this season a success.
On paper, this is probably the toughest of the four quarterfinal ties to predict. Both clubs fall just below the elite teams in Europe, while both are the sort that would be a real test for even the best sides in Europe. The two sides also feature very contrasting styles, with Chelsea's foundation being built upon a rock solid defense, while PSG are known for their ridiculous attacking talent.
With the first leg to be played in France and Samuel Eto'o out injured, I doubt too many will be surprised to see a very conservative approach from Jose Mourinho's side. For PSG, this may be their only opportunity this season to host a club with comparable quality, and I'd guess their fans expect them to approach this contest more aggressively with that in mind.
With that in mind, I'd be surprised to see either team manage to keep a clean sheet on Wednesday. Chelsea thrive off of clubs that push too many bodies into attack, and feature the sort of speed and quality on the counter attack that PSG haven't had to face since becoming one of Europe's richest clubs. On the other hand, Chelsea haven't faced a club this season with the quality up front that they'll face tomorrow, as frankly, the only clubs in Europe that can match the Ligue Un side in that regard are Real Madrid and Barcelona. A win would be great, a draw would be excellent, and an away goal would be a very welcome event.
Opponent: Paris Saint Germain
Date/time: Wednesday, April 2, 2014 at 19:45 BST (2:45 pm ET, 11:45 am PT, 00:15 on April 3 IST)
Venue: Parc des Princes, Paris, France
Forecast: Warm with no precipitation. Yay.
Chelsea squad news: Nemanja Matic and Mohamed Salah are ineligible, while Ashley Cole and Samuel Eto'o are both out with injury. This probably means that we'll see Fernando Torres start, but we Mourinho's midfield selection will tell us quite a bit about how we're planning to approach this match.
PSG squad news: Laurent Blanc has no significant injuries, no suspensions, and no cup-tied players. Life is rough.
Television/streaming: In the UK, this one will be shown on Sky Sports 1/HD and Sky Sports Red Button. In the US, FS1 and Fox Sports 2 Go have you covered. Fans in India can tune in to Ten Sports India and Ten Sports Live, while Chelsea TV will have live audio for subscribers. You can check the listings for wherever you happen to live by clicking this link.