Exuberant Paris Saint-Germain can gun down Jose Mourino’s Chelsea
Ahead of their Champions League quarter-final it’s noticeable that both clubs have some notable similarities to each another.
For instance, both PSG and Chelsea currently sit at the top of their domestic leagues. Likewise, both clubs have owners who don’t shy away from flaunting their riches for their clubs.
Furthermore, both teams feature players who have played under Mourinho in the past few years.
In terms of league form, Chelsea might be sitting at the top of the table right now but their grip on the Premier League is a far cry from PSG’s notable dominance in Ligue 1. The quality of PSG’s domestic opponents is arguably lower than those Chelsea. That is true to an extent, but it should also be noted that PSG are just three wins away from successfully defending their Ligue 1 title, which means that it can wholeheartedly concentrate on their Champions League ambitions now.
Chelsea will continue their Champions League campaign after a thumping 2-0 victory over Galatasaray, whereas PSG will resume after a rather lacklustre home win against Leverkusen thanks to a penalty miss from Simon Rolfes. They had, of course, already done the work with a 0-4 away win in the first leg.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has really been PSG’s star performer this season with 35 goals in all competitions and is certainly the player to watch for Mourinho’s backline. The pair are very close from their time together at Inter Milan, so it remains to be seen if playing against his former manager might just get to him. Considering the Portuguese has a knack for playing with his opponents’ minds with his pre-match statements, this could unsettle him.
Alex and Thiago Motta have also played under Mourinho at Chelsea and Inter respectively.
But it’s unlikely the trio’s previous experience with Mourinho will have as big an impact as it did on Didier Drogba, who turned out to be just a shadow of himself against his former team in the previous round.
PSG’s are a potent attacking team thanks to the hefty contributions from both Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani this sesaon, but the likes of Thiago Silva, Blaise Matuidi, Ezequiel Lavezzi and now Yohan Cabaye certainly bolster their defensive and midfield capabilities as well.
Mourinho has a formidable defence in Branislav Ivanovic, John Terry, Gary Cahill and Cesar Azpilicueta but their midfield is burdened with the responsibility of scoring goals in most games. Oscar and Eden Hazard are particularly expected to lead the attack.
Laurent Blanc has established himself as a bright manager who, before PSG, also led Bordeaux to the Champions League quarter-finals in 2009. They eventually lost to their French rivals Lyon.
With an exciting pool of players and an intelligent manager at their helm, PSG almost have the perfect recipe to beat a tough but occasionally uninspiring Chelsea side.