The Odds Are Stacked Against Paris St Germain As They Prepare For Chelsea


If there ever was a true test for glory this season, it is against Chelsea on Tuesday for Paris St Germain. On many fronts the Capital club will be challenged to their brink and Jose Mourinho’s men are not shy of their opponents, in fact they are confident.

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The West London outfit will come into the Champions League clash with enormous momentum. Chelsea have been superb domestically versus Paris’ sub par season in Ligue 1.

The difference in competition from England and France will also expose each side’s strength in form; simply, Chelsea could have a better resistance to competition because of hailing from the Premier League.

But Laurent Blancs men have been built for European nights, which on plenty of occasions have suited their strengths excellently. The only difference this time is all the odds which have stacked themselves against Paris.

First, the chemistry (or lack there of) between Edinson Cavani and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

If there was ever a fixture where the two should become selfless, this is the one. Since Cavani’s arrival in 2013, the Uruguayan has been speculated to be unhappy in the capital, set for departure and/or uncomfortable with his role of ‘second fiddle’ to the mighty Swede.

Since the turn of the 2014/2015 season, it’s been reported that El Matador had been promised a more central role, suited to his natural positioning and strengths.

Edinson Cavani – C.Gavelle/PSG

But although on many of occasions Cavani has turned down rumours of tensions between Zlatan and himself, the tensions on the pitch still speak volumes. Most notably a feud was translated by Cavani and Zlatans clear fight for goals during Le Classique in November.

Despite the fact that either man could have helped the other formulate a goal, both preferred to ignore their team mates. From then on their partnership upfront has been under scrutiny.

Zlatan has not commented on his relationship with the Uruguayan, but one thing is Forsure, if the Capital outfit did rid of one of the two, Cavani would be the first took over the Parisian talisman.

Second, Paris are one again this season riddled with injury.

Back in the fall when Paris were dramatically drawn to fight against Barcelona in the Champions League group stage, Blanc lost Ibrahimovic to a heel injury. One that the 33 year old is still struggling with.

This devastating blow has defined his season so far, but also saw the loss of other players throughout the rest of the campaign before Christmas. Responsibilities started to fall on players who often freeze in the spotlight without their leader, Zlatan.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Credit: Ryu Voelkel (Flickr Creative Commons)

In luck though, the squad found a brilliant rhythm and proved they could function wonderfully without the Swede. Once again this predicament has happened, but all at once. Paris are to be without four vital players against Chelsea.

Marquinhos is unconfirmed, but injured. Sergie Aurier, Lucas and Yohan Cabaye are all confirmed to be unavailable Tuesday. As well, the most detrimental of all could be in the potential loss of Javier Pastore. The man who scored the winning goal against Chelsea at the two clubs last meeting in April.

With a handful of players unavailable or risky starters, Blancs challenge will come in the strength of his bench. With this comes a true test of form; will these players be reliable or rusty? Ezequiel Lavezzi will likely replace Lucas, who has been his understudy for most of the season.

Adrien Rabiot could also gain some starting minutes in the wake of two midfielders lost. As well Lucas Digne and Gregory Van der Wiel seem like the proper choices for the replacement of Aurier. The click of chemistry in the moment is where the thrill will begin.


Finally, the challenge which could be the most worrying could be the lack of flexibility Laurent Blanc will bring to the table.

Despite his very unnerving season, Blanc still has not proven that he has learned from his mistakes. Blanc’s very predictable way of play has gotten himself and the team into fire on plenty of occasions. The club is notorious for complacency in Europe, often ridding this attitude before big matches such as in the Champions League.

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But their loss of steam by the end of a match is what often gets them into trouble. Against Chelsea in the second leg last April, Paris lost their aggregate lead because of a gradual decrease in pressure by the end of the match.

What resulted was a late goal from Demba Ba and a Parisian dream. This mistake was once again done by Caen on Saturday at the Parc des Princes. The club took a 2-0 lead in the first half and slowly took their foot off the gas. That mistake lead Paris from a 3 point climb in Ligue 1 to a 2-2 tie only gaining 1 point and unable to overtake Lyon in first.

Paris have to gauge their momentum and not expose loose threads as the match progresses. Clubs like Mourinho’s Chelsea can and will capitalize.

This predicament could once again find Paris in the shambles of their dreams, rather than finally conquering them.

A match of epic proportion awaits and it is not Chelsea who stands as the clubs greatest test, it is their own perseverance to victory.

Revons Plus Grand!