They may as well do away with the balls and draw Paris Saint-Germain & Chelsea directly in the knock-out rounds, given the frequency with which these two sides have encountered each other in the Champions League.
Monday's draw saw the two European giants pitted against one another for the third time in as many seasons; however this encounter will have a slightly different flavour to it. With PSG flying high in Ligue 1 and Chelsea shock relegation candidates in the Premier League this encounter may be a little less tricky for Laurent Blanc’s side than in previous years.
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Drawing Chelsea in cup competitions this season is unlikely to carry the same fear it would have done in previous seasons. On league form alone, it could be said that Chelsea were among the weakest teams to go into the draw, despite finishing top of Group G.
It is a fixture Blanc would’ve feared in past seasons. And though he is unlikely to underestimate them, it is hard to deny the fact that this is the worst a Chelsea team have performed in the past decade. This could be best time to play them.
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PSG encountering the west London club has almost become a staple fixture of the Champions League. In 2014, the sides drew 3-3 on aggregate, with Chelsea going through on away goals. In 2015 it was a similar story, except the Ligue 1 champions were the beneficiaries of the away goals rule.
The last time these two teams met, PSG put in a courageous show in the face of adversity, outplaying Chelsea at Stamford Bridge to go through with 10 men. Both sides will be keen to see who triumphs in this unofficial ‘best of three’, with PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi in particular relishing the repeat encounter.
“We play Chelsea for the third year and it’s become something of a classic for us,” the Qatari businessman was quoted in The Independent.
“I am delighted for the fans, who will see great matches at Parc des Princes and Stamford Bridge. We’ll be ready.”
Still a threat
Of course, a lot can change between now and February 16, when the first leg takes place in Paris. Despite their poor form, Chelsea are still a side to be feared, having topped their Champions League group.
A group of players that talented can beat any team on their day. With their chances of defending the Premier League up in smoke, they are likely to make a concerted effort to progress as far as possible in Europe. PSG are looking to win as many as five trophies this season, so their schedule will be hectic in the run-up to the clash, which could prove problematic.
However even with both sides at the top of their game, PSG have proven more than a match for Jose Mourinho’s side in the past, and will be relishing this season’s encounter more than ever.
Who do you think will win; PSG or Chelsea? Give YOUR opinion in the comment box below!
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