With the Champions League returning this evening, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain engage in battle once again.
Ever since eliminating the Parisians in the 2013-14 campaign there has been a scent of unfinished business.
PSG will be hoping to exact revenge on the Blues, while Jose Mourinho will be looking to progress one step further than last year's semi-final in the Champions League. Although this is only the first knockout round, one of Europe's finest will be exiting early.
Chelsea travel to Paris for the first leg of their Champions League journey. PSG lack some key players ahead of this match including Lucas, Marquinhos, Serge Aurier, and Yohan Cabaye.
With the Ligue 1 champions looking weakened, Chelsea need to attack. Mourinho's men can inflict damage on the depleted Parisians, and, instead of sitting back, the Blues need to take the initiative and wound PSG.
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Diego Costa returns - but Cesc Fabregas a doubt
Diego Costa's return will mean a lot to the Blues, who will want to field their strongest line-up in one of their biggest matches this season. Cesc Fabregas' reported illness will leave the Blues sweating on one of their key stars, but, aside from Fabregas, Mikel is the only other notable absentee.
With the Blues near full strength, Mourinho must try to finish this tie as soon as possible with the Premier League coming to the business end.
By exacting damage on the Parisians away from home, the Blues have a favourable chance to progress to the next rounds with ease.
PSG failing to shine in Ligue 1
PSG have shown defensive frailty and trail in Ligue 1 this season whereas Chelsea comfortably top the Premier League, albeit with a few hiccups.
PSG do not seem as powerful as they once were, while, in contrast, Chelsea have evolved into a more challenging team. Weeks from now there's no saying whether PSG will improve ahead of their trip to Stamford Bridge. With that in account, Mourinho needs to damage PSG while they are weak.
PSG's weaknesses must be exploited if the Blues hope to simplify their calendar. Despite the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ezequiel Lavezzi, and Edinson Cavani, all being present, this is Chelsea's best chance to make a statement and finish off PSG early. If Mourinho fails to capitalise on this chance, it could come back to haunt him.
Entertaining match expected
Expect this fixture to be entertaining with David Luiz getting a crack at his former employers and Eden Hazard taking on his suitors.
With the likes of Diego Costa and Zlatan Ibrahimovic on the field drama will be at a premium, while the Blues heroic progression past PSG last season will also thicken the plot of what could be a pivotal match for both clubs.
Will PSG or Chelsea win tonight? Post your score predictions in the comments below!
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