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Paris v Chelsea preview

Laurent Blanc praised the attacking riches his injury-ravaged Paris Saint-Germain side and Chelsea FC possess but reckons defence will be key to their last-16 tie.

The week in numbers

Laurent Blanc says defence will be key as his injury-hit side welcome Chelsea
Paris without Serge Aurier, Yohan Cabaye, Lucas and have several doubts
Paris beat Chelsea 3-1 at home in the first leg of their quarter-final tie last season
The hosts go into the game having squandered a two-goal lead on Saturday
Chelsea had the weekend off as they are out of the FA Cup

Possible lineups
Paris: Sirigu; Maxwell, Luiz, Silva, Van der Wiel; Matuidi, Motta/Pastore, Verratti; Cavani, Ibrahimovic, Lavezzi.
Out: Aurier (thigh), Cabaye (groin), Lucas (hamstring)
Doubtful: Motta (calf), Matuidi (knee), Marquinhos (hamstring), Pastore (calf)

Chelsea: Courtois; Azpilicueta, Terry, Cahill, Ivanovic; Matić, Fàbregas; Hazard, Oscar, Willian; Costa.
Out: Mikel (knee)

Laurent Blanc, Paris coach
The circumstances are far from ideal, but we'll just have to be patient. Let's hope the conditions have a positive impact and strengthen the bond between the players, the technical staff and the fans. I hope we can count on this chemistry, as we'll need it against a team of great quality. We'll all have to be good to unsettle this excellent Chelsea team.

I think defence is not just the key to tomorrow's game, but for all big matches. Last season Chelsea managed to score an away goal when we couldn't – that's how they won. Both teams will have a lot of very talented creative players, but the paradox is that it's the team who performs the best defensively who will have the best chances to win and qualify.

Luiz on Paris move

All teams rely a lot on their leaders and Zlatan Ibrahimović is definitively one for us. In the big fixtures, it's those great players who pull the team to a higher level. We'll need him at his best against Chelsea, as we'll have to take the game to them and try to score. It'll be the same for José [Mourinho] with a player like [Eden] Hazard, who can destabilise any team.

There will be high levels of pressure in this match, at all levels, but Marco [Verratti] will relish his responsibilities – there's absolutely no doubt about it. He always takes responsibility on the field, but it's in these great matches that he needs to prove he has improved. I think Mourinho will do everything to turn up the heat, but the players need to stay cool.

José Mourinho, Chelsea manager
The Champions League is a space for surprises: in the past decade it's been 50-50 between the favourites and outsiders to win the trophy. At the moment, for me there are 16 candidates for the title.

Last season we beat them, but we lost in Paris and again the knockout blow came only in the last few minutes. I'm not saying we won because we were better than Paris; it came down to the details – we had scored that away goal in the first leg and didn't concede in the return.

Where does this rank? Drogba's parting gift

Paris are a great team, basically the same as last season with David Luiz. Same team, same coach, same form ... Chelsea are a different team: some new players, we changed the profile of our game. I'm not sure we're better, but we are different.

I have four Brazilian players and you ask me about the Brazilian players from PSG?! My players represent about 50% of the national team and I'm very happy to work with them. I worked with David Luiz last season, of course. I never coached Thiago Silva, but I know him personally: he's a good kid and obviously a great player.

Weekend results
Paris 2-2 SM Caen (Ibrahimović 2, Lavezzi 40; Sala 89, Bazile 90+2)
Chelsea: did not play

Form guide (all competitions)
Chelsea: WWDWLD

Match facts
• How many wins have Chelsea recorded in six visits to France? Find out in our extensive match background.