This ought to be a thrilling and high-scoring encounter, writes James Eastham…
Chelsea v PSG
Wed, 19:45 GMT
Live on Sky Sports 5
Chelsea are favourites to go through but won’t underestimate the visitors after the Ligue 1 champions produced an impressive performance at Parc des Princes in the first leg. At 1-1 the tie is nicely poised and it promises to be a night of tension and drama.
Chelsea 2.0421/20, PSG 4.47/2, The Draw 3.45n/a
Chelsea are around evens to win on the night, which is probably fair. They may have been on the back foot for much of the first leg in Paris but that was partly tactical – Jose Mourinho’s side took a first-half lead through Branislav Ivanovic and were then happy to soak up pressure after half-time.
PSG showed they’ll be no pushovers by playing really well in the first leg. And they should pose a stiff threat here as they go into the game in good form. Laurent Blanc‘s side were 4-1 winners over Lens at the weekend and are on a 14-match unbeaten run in all competitions (W10-D4-L0). Except for injured right winger Lucas Moura they have also named a full squad for the game so can field close to their strongest side.
Chelsea have won only two of their last five matches at Stamford Bridge in all competitions so I’m nearly tempted to lay the hosts. But Mourinho’s European expertise dissuades me from doing so, so this is a market to avoid.
Under/Over 2.5 Goals
Unders 1.75/7, Overs 2.47/5
I expect this game to be more open and high-scoring than the market predicts. Will Mourinho park the bus and play for a 0-0 in order for his side to go through on away goals? I can’t see it – and even if Chelsea did play that way I can’t see it working. PSG are an excellent attacking side that will test the Chelsea back four – and with the Parisian visitors needing to score to stand any chance of going through this game will open up at some point.
Thibaut Courtois’ outstanding individual performance in the first leg underlined that an attacking approach from one side or both sides won’t necessarily lead to goals, but unlike the first leg this game will get stretched. Picking between unders at odds-on and overs at odds-against, I’d rather be on the latter.
Both Teams to Score?
Yes 2.0421/20, Chelsea 1.910/11
‘Yes’ in the Both Teams to Score? market is an alternative to Over 2.5 Goals. It is difficult to see Chelsea failing to score at home, and PSG have to score in order to keep alive their hopes of going through so should play accordingly. The visitors go into the game in fine scoring form – they have netted at least once in 15 out of 16 matches in all competitions in 2016.
We know who the main danger men are for Chelsea – but what about PSG? Aside from the obvious potential goalscorers – Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is 3.02/1 to find the net, and Edinson Cavani (4.216/5) – there are a couple of longer-priced players worth keeping an eye on. David Luiz is 7.06/1 to score against his former club, attack-minded Maxwell is 9.417/2 to score from left-back and powerful midfield runner Blaise Matuidi is 7.413/2 to find the net.
Back Over 2.5 Goals @ 2.47/5