One stream of thought will currently be going through the minds of Chelsea fans. ‘Just 2-0.’ They’ll be thinking. ‘It’s only got to be 2-0.’
It was 3-0 on Saturday, when Jose Mourinho’s men overwhelmed a previously in-form Stoke City to move temporarily back to the top of the Premier League table, a position which isn’t ‘fake’ no matter what the Chelsea boss says.
It was 6-0 in the home match before that one against Arsenal, and 2-0 against Galatasaray and 4-0 against Tottenham before that. Those fans will know that their team can achieve the result that they need to go through here, largely thanks to that nil which often appears next to the away team’s name at Stamford Bridge.
Eight consecutive matches have now gone by since an opponent scored against Chelsea on their home ground, with the late consolation for Manchester United’s Javier Hernandez in a 3-1 loss in January the only home goal they’ve conceded in 2014.
The absence of the injured Zlatan Ibrahimovic will only heighten the belief that the Blues can continue that streak at home to Paris Saint-Germain, a match in which a 2-0 win would be enough for them to reach the Champions League semi-finals following the 3-1 loss in Paris last week.
But whilst they can keep their opponents out at one end, have they got enough firepower at the other?
PSG have only conceded twice in a match once in their last 15, and even that was a 4-2 win over Toulouse.
Whereas they are used to going into matches with the focus on the audacious talents of Ibrahimovic, here the spotlight will be on the likes of Thiago Silva, Thiago Motta and the former Chelsea defender Alex, a trio who will have to be so solid in the face of the movement and attacking talents of Eden Hazard, Willian and Oscar.
The Parisians have kept clean sheets in each of their last three away games, and although the opposition wasn’t as strong as they’ll be facing here, they can keep things tight and frustrate hosts who have obviously had forward troubles of late, and indeed throughout the season.
Mourinho will reportedly be relying on a half-fit Samuel Eto’o to score the goals to take his side through, and the visiting defenders will surely be semi-confident about the task they’ll face despite the Cameroonian’s record of scoring crucial goals for his side.
You feel that Chelsea will score, but the key to this tie is just when that goal comes.
PSG’s defence is strong enough to keep them out for a prolonged period, with no goals in the first half perhaps your first port of call here at 2.95. The visitors are 2.35 not to score.
The half-time draw, full-time Chelsea at 4.75 also appeals as the hosts will look to push for goals late on.
Oscar hasn’t been as prolific as he can be of late, but the little Brazilian loves a big goal and so his luck could change here.
He’s at 8.00 to score first and 3.85 any time, whilst John Terry will also be a threat from set pieces and is at 11.00 to score at any point of the match.
PSG’s chances are likely to come on the break, and the speedy Brazilian Lucas Moura could be worth a shout for an any time goal if he starts. He’s at 6.00.
Correct score prediction
Chelsea 1 PSG 0 – 7.50
No goals in the first half – 2.95