Laurent Blanc finally has Paris Saint-Germain playing to their full world-class potential and they couldn't have picked a better time to find their form.
Jose Mourinho and Chelsea travel to Parc de Princes to take on the powerful PSG on Wednesday in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final match-up. This is without a doubt one of the most keenly-anticipated match-ups of the round and promises to be filled with plot-twists and excellent football above all else.
Here are three reasons that make me believe PSG are ready to advance to the semi-finals...
1. Chelsea's recent lapse in form away from home
Stamford Bridge has acted like a warm fuzzy blanket for this Chelsea team all season, domestically and on the European stage. Everyone knows that Mourinho has never lost a home match in the Premier League, and besides a minor slip-up to Basel in the group stages of the Champions League, that same level of dominance and form has extended to all competitions.
But the second Mou's Blues venture away from the Bridge as of late, they seem to struggle tactically all over the pitch. Chelsea have failed to score in their last two away games, losing to Aston Villa 1-0 three weeks ago and then to Crystal Palace this weekend by the same score.
This weekend's loss at Selhurst Park to lowly Palace does nothing but strike fear into the hearts of Chelsea supporters as their side travel to the formidable Parc de Princes, where PSG have not lost a single game in any competition this season.
2. Mourinho's lack of a game-changing striker
Samuel Eto'o this Fernando Torres that. You're fooling yourself if you think the Blues stand a chance by throwing either one of those lost souls to head the attack on Wednesday against Thiago Silva and this formidable PSG defense.
Both men have shown that they're capable of scoring goals in spurts, but neither has been able to do it for more than a couple of games. Chelsea need a striker that can rescue the day and score a goal against the run of play when they need it most, not someone to slam home a meaningless third goal in a blow-out contest.
3. Zlatan Ibrahimovic
25 goals and 11 assists in Ligue 1 after just 30 games played.
The Swede has 11 more goals than teammate Edinson Cavani who is second in Ligue 1 in scoring with 14 goals. Big Z is outperforming teams by himself this season in France and his form in Europe is no different. With 10 Champions League goals, he sits second only to Cristiano Ronaldo in the competition (13).
He's a one-man attack and Chelsea have yet to play someone like Ibra yet this season, with the exception of maybe Luis Suarez and a healthy Sergio Aguero. As solid as Chelsea's back-line has been this season, great offence beats a great defence more often than not and the big Swede is as capable of producing just that as much as anyone else in the competition.
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