Monday, February 16, 2015


The Champions league is back and yes we missed it. I’ve decided to preview all the big games in all the playing days. The first big game falls on the first day of play, i.e. the 17th,  Chelsea Vs PSG. 
Now this is a fixture that always makes news.It is a battle of two of the biggest cities in Europe- London Vs Paris.  It is always a tight and interesting encounter and we should not expect less. I’m going to analyze the teams and predict a starting lineup from the various managers.

Let’s start with the French side who are hosting. First things first, there is a lot of talk around the media about them having a lot of players being injured making Chelsea the favorites etc. it should be clear that if Chelsea are favorites in that match it is not because of the injury plague on the hosts. We rather look for a better reasons like Chelsea playing in a tougher league or having better players or better still a more experienced manager in Jose Mourinho. Off course we can’t talk about monetary power because in recent years, the French side has come a long way to match the spending power of Mr. Abramovic and there are talks in the French Media that the Quatari owners of PSG want nothing less but a Champions League Trophy this Season.

PSG threw away a two goal lead in stoppage time against Caen in Ligue 1 on Saturday after injuries forced them to end the game with 9 men already putting a lot of pressure on their coach and former French international Lauren Blanc. Make no mistake, they ended with nine men because they had made all their regular three changes and had no other option. We should note that they still have their regular first team squad and they can be short only on the bench.

Yohan Cabaye, Marquinhos, Serge Aurier and Lucas Moura and  Thiago Motta are all doubtful for the visit of Chelsea after injuring themselves on Saturday. That being said, PSG still have fire power to begin the match with and could line up like the photo below.

Unfortunately, such a squad will not be backed by a big name on the bench which will be made of of promising and rising talents such as Adrien Rabbiot and Jean Christophe Bahebeck alongside some other youngsters. It is clear this team is not to be minimized

For the blues of London, they are rather blessed with some of their players coming back from injury and suspension. I predict their usual starting eleven which might have a slight change with the introduction of Kurt Zouma the young talent who will be charged with marking Swedish sensation Zlatan Ibrahimovic. 
Chelsea also have a their goal creator, Fabregas coming back from injury and he will want to prove a point. He said this week that he would like to win the champions league with Chelsea after the finals disappointment with Arsenal. Diego Costa too has not played for a while due to suspension. Remember he has not scored in the Champions league this season... PSG beware.
Juan Cuadrado could make his Champions league debut for Chelsea but i strongly think he will do so from the bench.

Therefore Chelsea could lineup like this

Chelseas bench could feature big names like Petr Cech, Gary Cahil, Ramires, Juan Cuadrado, Loic Remy, John Obi Mikel and Azpilicueta.