Guus Hiddink’s side will face off against the champions of France, Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday at Stamford Bridge in the second leg of the Champions League round of 16.
The two teams will face off against Laurent Blanc’s team, who are already leading on aggregate after a 2-1 win in the reverse fixture. Chelsea will hope to put in a strong disciplined performance on the night, as they look to go through to the next round of the competition. Surely it is not going to be an easy game by any stretch of the imagination, as both sides will look to push through for a win.
For the home side, Kurt Zouma, John Terry and Radamel Falcao will be absentees. Also, Kenedy and Diego Costa are all doubtful and might be available for the game as well, if they are fit on time. Further, Pedro is fine and should play as confirmed by Hiddink. It is a crucial game and worth the risk for the Blues, who might play some of their stars though they might not be fully fit. The visitors will be without right-back Serge Aurier, who was given a suspension for insulting the manager and his team-mates in an online video. Midfielder Marco Verratti is a doubt as well though the French outfit are at full strength apart from that. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, David Luiz and Thiago Silva will return to the starting eleven, after being rested in the last game.
Courtois; Baba Rahman, Ivanovic, Cahill, Azpilicueta; Matic, Mikel, Hazard, Fabregas, Willian; Costa.
Trapp; Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Luiz, Maxwell; Verratti, Motta, Matuidi; Cavani, Ibrahimovic, Di Maria.
Chelsea will once again start with Thibaut Courtois at goal, with the Belgian international looking solid for his side in recent times. It will be a tough ask for him to keep the PSG attack out and hopefully, he can put in a solid performance. Kevin Trapp will be at the goal for the visitors and will want to improve on the one goal that he conceded in the first leg. It will really be a tough job in hand to go to Stamford Bridge and not a goal in.
The home side will feature Baba Rahman, Branislav Ivanovic, Gary Cahill and Cesar Azpilicueta at the back for the home side. John Terry recently made it clear that he will not be part of the squad while Kurt Zouma is out injured as well.
For the visitors, it will be Maxwell, David Luiz, Thiago Silva and Marquinhos at the back, trying to keep the Chelsea attack quiet. It should a tough battle on the night against an attack needing to score at least once.
Hiddink should feature the duo of Nemanja Matic and John Obi Mikel in front of the back-line. In front of them will feature the trio of Eden Hazard, Cesc Fabregas and Willian from left to right in an attacking midfield role.
For Blanc’s side, it will be a three-man midfield at the center of the pitch consisting of Blaise Matuidi, Thiago Motta and Marco Verratti, though the Italian is still not a 100% fit.
Diego Costa should play as the lone striker for the Londoners in this match if he does indeed make it to the squad on time. Further, it will be the trio of Edison Cavani, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Angel Di Maria playing up front for the away side. It will be interesting to see who scores first.