UCL Wednesday Preview: Chelsea look to turn around PSG tie, Benfica take slender lead to Zenit

PSG hold a narrow lead as the French champions make the trip to Chelsea as Guus Hiddink’s side look to turn around this last 16 tie and book their place in the quarter-finals.

A 1-0 win would be enough for the Premier League side to advance after John Obi-Mikel scored what could be a crucial away goal in their 2-1 loss in Paris three weeks ago.

Edison Cavani's goal gives PSG a 2-1 lead to take to London image: football5star.com

Edison Cavani scored the winner in PSG’s 2-1 win over Chelsea
image: football5star.com

Laurent Blanc’s side have got great ambitions to be a reckoning force in the Champions League and will hope for a repeat of last year’s trip to Stamford Bridge when a 2-2 draw saw them knock out Chelsea on away goals.

Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink believes while it was a bonus to pick up an away goal in Paris, he is prepared for a tough match against the highly ambitious French champions.

“It’s always good to have an away goal in a European game,” said the Dutchman.

It’s a game between two big names in European football. It will be a match where hopefully Europe will enjoy two adventurous teams. Of course Chelsea was anxious to win the Champions League once – PSG are in the same position now, they are anxious to get their first one.

“They are starting to build up a team, not just individual star players, but as a team they have grown very good in the last few seasons so they are on their way. I hope we can stop them in their project. But they have very experienced players, international players.”

PSG gaffer Laurent Blanc believes a trip to Stamford Bridge will be more difficult than their last trip here and wants a repeat performance from the first leg to see his side into the last eight.

“I don’t know if the previous two years’ matches will have an impact”, said the 50-year-old.

“I think every game is different and has its own story. I know the media like to draw parallels between past meetings but I don’t know how things are going to go tomorrow and neither do you. We know what we plan to do to qualify but Chelsea will do likewise.”

“It could be more difficult than the last two seasons for a number of reasons. We have to be careful. We have an advantage which is important. We need to have the right mental approach and we should understand that, because we have been through once, we can do it again.”

John Obi Mikel's away goal for Chelsea could prove crucial image: bbc.com

John Obi Mikel’s away goal for Chelsea could prove crucial
image: bbc.com

Team News

Striker Diego Costa is once again available for Chelsea, after the Spanish international missed the Blues’s 1-1 draw with Stoke with a tendon problem.

Kenedy (groin) and Pedro (thigh) are doubtful for the visit of the French champions, but defensive pair John Terry (hamstring) and Kurt Zouma (knee), as well as striker Falcao (hip) all miss out through injury.

PSG could be without central midfield pairing Blaise Matuidi (hamstring) and Marco Veratti (unspecified) who will both face late fitness tests for the trip to Chelsea, while winger Javier Pastore (hamstring) is also doubtful.

Full-back Serge Aurier is also unavailable with the Ivory Coast international still suspended for a social media outburst against his teammates and manager last month.

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