clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Chelsea vs. PSG, Champions League: Team news, preview, how to watch, Dare-to-Diego

New, comments
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

It's all business this time around.  For the fourth meeting with Chelsea in the last 12 months, PSG come to London without any Twitter shenanigans, without any "banter" with their Chelsea counterparts.  This time, it's business time.  It must be Wednesday.

Serious faces and serious intentions abound.  On both sides, in fairness, in what is most likely the biggest game of both Chelsea's and PSG's seasons so far.  I guess if we lose we'll claim that the League Cup final was bigger, but we have the advantage after the 1-1 draw in Paris, and this game should be ours to win.  Or draw 0-0 and progress.

I wonder what the bonuses look like for Chelsea players.  Something tells me they're slightly lower than that.  (Like 100 percent lower.)

Chelsea needed a terrific Thibaut Courtois to get out of the first leg at 1-1.  Still, that means that for the second leg, we're better off by two goals this year than last.  Let's not waste that.

Date / Time: Wednesday, March 11, 2015, 19:45 GMT; 3:45pm EDT; 1:15am IST (next day)

Venue: Stamford Bridge, SW6

Referee: Bjorn Kuipers -- this will be the 41-year-old Dutchman's fifth Chelsea game, and the first since overseeing our Europa League final victory against Benfica.  He also refereed that year's FIFA Confederations Cup final and last year's Champions League final, which means that almost all players in the Chelsea squad will be familiar with him already.  Apparently he was also on the cover of FIFA's 2014-15 Laws of the Game publication, which I presume is the refereeing equivalent of being the cover model for Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue.

On TV: Sky Sports 5 (UK); Fox Sports 1, ESPN Deportes (USA); Ten HD / Action (India); elsewhere

Online: Sky Go (UK); Fox Sports Go, Fox Soccer2Go (USA); Ten Sports Live (India)

Chelsea team news: John Obi Mikel remains our only injury casualty; he's not expected back until the end of the month.  We do welcome back Nemanja Matic following his two-match domestic ban and the ankle injury he picked up while celebrating at Wembley.  And hopefully we have also procured those magic shinpads for Eden Hazard as he goes up against the ultra-aggressive PSG midfield, which fouled him 9 times in the first leg (in addition to probably just as many uncalled fouls).

Mourinho claimed that we will focus on ourselves and our style before worrying too much about the visitors.  I guess if we roll with the standard five in midfield (Cesc-Matic; Hazard-Oscar-Willian), we will know if he was actually telling the truth.  My guess is that we'll see some game-specific changes as is usually the case, especially in a big, winner-take-all match like this one.  After all, winning is our aim.

PSG team news: Winning is PSG's aim as well.  Or to be more specific, scoring goals is (or at least should be) their aim.  If they don't score, Chelsea will advance regardless.  At 1-1, and only at 1-1 we're looking at extra time, while anything above a 1-1 would hand the away goals advantage to Laurent Blanc and Co.  Speaking of Blanc, this game may be even more important for him personally; it's been rumored that his job is on the line.

Be sure to check out of our opposition analysis for answers to your most burning David Luizian tactical questions.  The former Chelsea cult hero was excellent in his Mourinho-pioneered midfield role in the first leg, but true Mourinho-zealot and proto-Matic Thiago Motta could now be back from injury.  That could lead to an all-Brazilian back-line for PSG, which in turn could lead to more Diego vs. Sideshow hair pulling in the middle and Hazard vs. Marquinhos fun on the outside.

PSG are much more healthy this time around.  Only Lucas Moura and Serge Aurier did not travel with the squad.

Previously: This will be the sixth meeting all-time between the two clubs.  Chelsea have yet to lose and yet to concede a goal to PSG in their previous two visits to Stamford Bridge (0-0 in 2004, 2-0 in 2014).