Champions League Match Preview: Paris Saint Germain vs. Chelsea

By
Updated: March 26, 2014
Samuel Eto'o

Match Date: 02 April 2014 (local time)

Venue: Parc des Princes

 

It is hard not to expect a down the wire match between Paris Saint Germain and Chelsea. The pairing of the two has been the talk of the town due to the anticipated intensity that is about to take place. The stakes are high. The match serves as a defining moment to the careers and future of the involved participants.

 

For Laurent Blanc, advancing to the quarterfinals is a step closer to the club’s 5-year plan of securing a Champions League trophy. As a matter of fact, PSG is way ahead of its projected timeline.

 

Blanc’s arrival added more oomph into the club’s depth. The tactical changes that he introduced refined the already sophisticated foundations that Carlos Ancelotti built.

 

When he (Blanc) opted to use the 4-3-3 instead of Ancelotti’s 4-2-2, it gave them balance. Thiago Motta and Blaise Matuidi’s tandem enabled PSG to address their defensive worries and keep possession. But the transformation did not end there. Instead, he gave the club an attacking triumvirate comprised of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Edinson Cavani and Ezequiel Lavezzi.

 

It may not be an easy transformation, but Blanc and the rest of his men are reaping the fruits of their labor. Back in France’s top-flight league, it is PSG, which holds the top spot. Although AS Monaco continues to be a threat, the defending champion maintains a high degree of confidence that they will be able to retain their tittle. This is also instrumental in their match against Chelsea as their lead in Ligue 1 alleviates them from all the worries and stress of performing well in both the French and Champions League.

 

Blanc, however, is not the sole key figure in the competition. The tournament is never complete without mentioning Ibrahimovic. The match against Chelsea is described to be a great challenge to the Swedish superstar.

 

Similar to Didier Drogba, PSG’s talismanic striker was once under the tutelage of Jose Mourinho. He was a part of the Inter squad that once dominated and etched its name into the history books of European football.  The clashing of the two is a highly anticipated one. Both elicit intimidating personalities that add more color and excitement in the match.

 

On a closer look, it seems that PSG already has the edge due to its home court advantage. However, Mourinho, who described Chelsea’s entry in the quarterfinals as a familiar territory for the squad, is less likely to wave the white flag to Blanc.

 

Mourinho is a familiar face in the tournament. The Special One holds a special spot for the competition in his heart and certainly, he can create troubles for those who dare to overshadow them.

 

Following their successful triumph against Manchester City, Chelsea has transformed into an unstoppable force in the English Premier League. Slowly but surely, the squad collected several victories that landed them on the top spot of the table. In a blink of an eye, Chelsea has outranked Arsenal, which has been holding the top spot of the table since the season began.

 

In other words, Chelsea enjoys the same privilege as that of PSG in terms of lessening their worries in their respective domestic leagues.

 

Despite downplaying their chances for the EPL title, it cannot be denied that Chelsea’s road to the top was an impressive one. But this is not just because of Mourinho alone. The likes of Eden Hazard and of course, the experience brought by Samuel Eto’o are indispensible in Chelsea’s rise.

 

Unfortunately for Eto’o, his appearance is still in doubt. This was after he incurred  hamstring injury during the 6-0 thrashing of Arsenal.

 

Nevertheless, such situation will not prevent Mourinho from the attempt to secure its 3rd Champions League trophy in 3 different squads. For sure, he will take advantage of Thiago Silva’s fractured cheekbone to turn the odds into his favor. As he and his men have shown in the Premier League, they will overcome any hindrance that will prohibit them from reaching the top.

 

Prediction: Chelsea

Expect Mourinho’s experience to prevail in the said match. Chelsea is valued to win at a profitable value of 1.85 in the sports betting site, 12BET.

 

 

Image Source: El Nuevo Herald