Why PSG are not strong enough to challenge Chelsea in February

Javier Pastore, Thiago Silvar, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Blaise Matuidi unveiled at PSG

Chelsea beat PSG 3-3 on aggregate last season and the Parisians will hope to go one better this season, but they will find it incredibly difficult.

In a repeat of last year’s Champions League quarter-final tie, Chelsea were once again paired with French champions Paris Saint-Germain in yesterday’s last 16 draw.

There is no doubt that it will be a hotly-contested affair, but the truth of the matter is that PSG will find it incredibly hard to come as close as they were to beating the London club last season.

Eden Hazard’s penalty in the Parc des Princes gave Chelsea an away goal that was crucial over the two legs. Chelsea’s 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge, with Demba Ba’s late winner proved enough to sneak past the French side and into the semi-finals.

When you look at where both sides have improved their squads in the past 12 months, it’s hard to see where PSG have any advantage over Jose Mourinho’s team.

Chelsea can now call upon Thibault Courtois, Nemanja Matic, Filipe Luis, Kurt Zouma, Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa.

On the other side of the fence, PSG have taken one of Chelsea’s most unpredictable players, David Luiz, for the cost of €50 million. Much to the delight of the Chelsea fans.

PSG also added Serge Aurier to their defence, but they were the only additions to the squad from last season. On paper it puts PSG at a serious disadvantage.

Last season, PSG’s midfield was its strongest section, with Marco Verratti, Blaise Matuidi and Thiago Motta playing superbly all season. It has not been the same this campaign.

Inconsistencies from Motta and Matuidi have led Blanc to playing Yohan Cabaye more and giving Javier Pastore increased playing time.

PSG’s advantage in the midfield looks much weaker, not just due to their individual form, but with Chelsea’s vast improvement.

Nothing is impossible in the Champions League, but it would take close to a miracle or an unforgettable performance from the Parisians for Chelsea not to advance to the quarter-finals.

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