PSG v Chelsea: Without question, the pressure is all on PSG tonight.
The Champions League is Europe's premier club competition and something you MUST win before ...
I guess in a way you could say that PSG are similar to Manchester City in that they have made huge investments in the playing staff and the club infrastructure but still find themselves lacking in the Champions League.
The investments made year after year by PSG signal a real statement of intent in Europe because let's face it they will walk the French Title easily in most. Unbeaten this season and over 20 points clear of second place, it's a joke really the gap between the side from the nations capital compared to the others.
If you ask me, that can also be detrimental to PSG as they face no real stiff competition week in, week out which is proven by looking at the league table. If anything, I'm surprised Pep Guardiola didn't try to get that job based on his previous appointments that guarantee success!
Now I watched PSG's second half performance against Marseille two weeks ago (the one where Steven Fletcher made his debut for the home side!) and they weren't impressive at all. The home side created plenty of chances and forced PSG backwards on numerous occasions. But for a moment of brilliance from Angel Di Maria it could have turned into their first defeat of he season!
So to these two games against Chelsea and everything on paper is in the favour of PSG. They have almost a fully fit squad to choose from and would have identified this game to focus on for weeks now. Unbeaten with no threat to their title, they will be looking forward to attacking Chelsea at every opportunity. The press and media will expect it, the crowd will expect it but most importantly of all their Qatari Owners will expect it too!
Laurent Blanc said:
"When we started this season with PSG, we knew our season would be judged practically all on the Champions League. Everyone thinks we are going to win the domestic league, and that we are expected to win every cup match, scoring four goals each game ... but the Champions League is the real judgement against elite clubs.
We are prepared for these games. We've proved that. The players know each other better and, for the last three years, we have brought in or developed big players with Champions League experience. Players who have won it before, players who have learned from the three quarter-finals.
We will be playing at a level we don't see in Ligue 1, but that's interesting for me as the coach, the players and the club. We can show if the club is progressing through these games, and if we can eventually win the Champions League. The club is getting bigger and bigger, and we can think now that, from a football point of view, PSG are able to win the Champions League. That's very good, and means we are moving in the right direction.”
What happens if it goes wrong and with the players Chelsea have in attack, Chelsea beat Paris in their own backyard to take an all important lead back to Stamford Bridge? How much pressure would that put Laurent Blanc and his team of Galaticos under?
Chelsea are under little or virtually no pressure if you think about it. OK, it's the only realistic chance of getting back into the same competition next season by winning it, but we are not going to do that are we if we're honest? People look at our league position, look at the problems we have faced earlier in the season, look at the players missing tomorrow through injury and suspension and have written us off before a ball has been kicked.
However, as we know with our performance against Newcastle, Chelsea have the quality to cause people problems, the pace in attack and have Diego Costa back on form and scoring goals which means for David Luiz and Thiago Silva that they have a very different animal to deal with this time around.
If Chelsea score first then fantastic and the pressure will increase on the home side with the game opening up. We have the quality to punish this lot and we owe ourselves a much better performance than what we witnessed in the two games last season.
It's all on PSG tomorrow night, they MUST deliver. But, as we all know, you should never write Chelsea off!