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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Champions League: PSG Host Chelsea, Shakhtar Seek Bayern Upset

The UEFA Champions League resumes tonight with two Round of 16 first leg matches on the cards.

The biggest clash of the night will be a repeat of the quarter-final last year with Paris Saint Germain playing host to Premier League club Chelsea. The Parisians finished second to Barcelona in Group F and were drawn to face the Londoners who topped group G.

 Laurent Blanc’s side have become one of the Champions League core teams since the takeover by Qatar Sports Investments in 2011. They lost only one match in their group, a 3-1 reversal against FC Barcelona while Jose Mourinho’s side finished their group unbeaten.

The Ligue 1 Champions however go into the match on crutches with no less than five first-team players injured. Lucas Moura (hamstring), Yohan Cabaye (groin), Blaise Matuidi (knee), Serge Aurier (thigh) and Marquinhos (hamstring) could all miss the match having sustained injuries in a bizarre 2-2 draw with Caen on Saturday in a match they finished with 9 men.

Chelsea on the other hand had a restful weekend in which only FA Cup matches were played – they were knocked out by Bradford in the previous round. Mourinho will only be without Nigeria midfielder John Obi Mikel with Diego Costa set to resume duties having missed the last three domestic matches serving a suspension.

Chelsea old-boy David Luiz scored an own goal for the Premier League leaders when they lost 3-1 to PSG before he made the switch to France. However, the Blues won the latest clash with Demba Ba and Andre Schurrle both netting in a 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge in April last year. The two goalscores have already left the club.

In Ukraine, Shakhtar Donetsk play host to Bayern Munich who couldn’t have had a better preparation for the clash than an 8-0 routing of Hamburg SV.

The 2013 Champions face Shakhtar who haven’t played a competitive match since December but they have this year’s Champions League leading goalscorer Luis Adriano ready to fire them to glory. Pep Guardiola’s Bayern have won only once in their last five visits to Ukraine, losing thrice while drawing and losing the other two matches. However, they haven’t met Shakhtar in any of those meetings.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!