Chelsea were dealt a huge blow in their hopes of claiming the Premier League title after suffering a disappointing 1-0 loss at the hands of relegation candidates Crystal Palace. The Blues put-in an inept performance in the weekend and manager Jose Mourinho was visibly not happy with his team.
However, Chelsea do not have too much time to reflect on their horrible performance against Palace, as they travel to the Parc des Princes to face French giants Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League Quarter Finals on Wednesday night.
Mourinho’s men will now certainly have to put-in a much improved performance against a more illustrious opponent to avoid another disappointing away day.
Mourinho is a master at setting up organized teams, which are well equipped to earn a result away from home in the Champions League and Chelsea should be expected to make it hard for PSG’s wealth of attacking talent by executing a professional display.
Probable Chelsea lineup vs PSG
Although not tested too much against Palace in the weekend, Petr Cech’s positioning was called into question when he saw John Terry head into his own net. The experienced custodian will now be looking to put the Palace disappointment behind him against the formidable PSG attack by continuing his fine run of form in the Champions League.
Jose Mourinho was critical of his side’s display against Palace, but did reserve special praise for his back four. Chelsea’s success this season has been based on their solid foundation in defence and it will be a surprise to see Mourinho making any alterations to his backline on Wednesday night.
John Terry was unfortunate to score an own goal against Palace, but the inspirational Chelsea captain will be marshalling his troops from central defence alongside his partner Gary Cahill. Branislav Ivanovic will start at right-back and the impressive Cesar Azpilicueta will be deployed in the left full-back position.
Ashley Cole is a doubt with injury, which means that young Tomáš Kalas will take his place on the bench.
Chelsea will be without the services of Nemanja Matic and Mohamed Salah for the clash, as both of them are cup-tied in the Champions League.
Considering Chelsea are away from home, Mourinho will surely be pragmatic in his approach and will look to stifle the threat that the PSG attacking lineup pose by employing two holding midfielders, which means that the duo Ramires and Frank Lampard could start at heart of the midfield while David Luiz and John Obi Mikel also provide useful alternatives.
Eden Hazard looks a certain starter on the wings and it will be either one of Willian or Andre Schürrle deployed on the other flank. Oscar will probably start in the hole behind the striker and will be looking to provide the creative spark.
Samuel Eto’o looks unlikely to recover from his hamstring injury in time for the clash, which means that Fernando Torres looks set to get the nod up front. The Spaniard was virtually anonymous against Palace and will have put-in a much better display in midweek against PSG. Demba Ba will be waiting on the wings if things go not go according to plan for Mourinho.
Cech; Azpilicueta, Cahill, Terry, Ivanovic; Hazard, Ramires, Lampard, Oscar, Willian; Torres