Will Luiz Return Haunt Chelsea?

David Luiz PSG
David Luiz returns to the Bridge. Image courtesy of fr.sports.yahoo.com

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Chelsea v PSG


Stamford Bridge, London

Thursday March 12 –   5:45am (AEST)

UCL Form:


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A spot in the UCL last-eight is on the line as Chelsea and PSG lock horns in London on Thursday (AEST).

As nothing could split these two sides in the first-leg, there’s everything to play for at Stamford Bridge. The Blues had to work overtime to ensure they left the French capital with a 1-1 draw, setting up a fascinating second-leg in London. Defender Branislav Ivanovic was the unlikely hero for Chelsea last month. His first-half goal was enough to deny PSG a home win and that away goal could be crucial in their chances of qualification. Jose Mourinho has the luxury of selecting a full-strength squad on Thursday, with injured second-string midfielder John Obi Mikel the only noticeable absentee. Nemanja Matic is set to line up for the Londoners as he returns from a two-match ban for violent conduct in the EPL.       

Currently sitting second in the Ligue 1 standings, the rich French outfit are enjoying one of their best seasons since their billionaire Qatari investors took control in 2011. Despite boasting a star-studded roster, many people aren’t sold that PSG are the European powerhouse they claim to be. Laurent Blanc’s men have already beaten Barcelona this campaign, and a win away to Chelsea would go a long way to quash question marks surrounding the strength of their squad. Thursday morning’s match has a sub-plot attached to it too as David Luiz returns to Stamford Bridge for the first time since last year's big money move to PSG. The Brazilian scored his side's first goal on the weekend in their 4-1 win over Lens, and he may come back to haunt the 2012 European champions.   

After opening as even-money favourites, support from punters has seen Chelsea’s price firm slightly in the head-to-head market. Big bets have been few and far between leading up to this clash, however there have been a couple of $1000 wagers come in for the Blues.

 

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