Fernando Torres is a key for Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League. Picture: Shuji Kajiyama/AP Photo
Following successive losses on the road in the EPL, Chelsea is counting on its attackers to re-discover their mojo in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League quarter-final tie against Paris Saint-Germain in France on Thursday morning (AEST). Bubbling along nicely all season, the Blues suddenly find themselves short on confidence having fallen 1-0 to both Aston Villa and Crystal Palace recently.
With Liverpool and Manchester City continuing on their winning ways, Chelsea’s championship aspirations have taken a hit. Now the London club faces a side which doesn’t lose at home often and has conceded just five goals in 15 outings at Parc des Princes in Ligue 1. Lethal attackers like Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani also make PSG very potent offensively.
On a positive note, Chelsea does boast the best defence in the EPL (conceding 24 goals in 32 matches), with the back four of Cesar Azpilicueta, John Terry, Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic working tirelessly in tandem with talented goalkeeper Petr Cech.
Billed as the new Euro powerhouse, PSG has an impressive record in the Champions League. The French side has lost just once in its last 16 CL appearances, with 11 wins and four draws. Chelsea does have two clean sheets in previous European meetings with PSG and has only allowed two scores in its last seven matches in the tournament. While the ‘Blue wall’ will be hard to pierce, attackers like Samuel Eto’o, Fernando Torres and Eden Hazard will have to make the most of every half chance presented. An early goal would also silence the parochial home crowd.
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