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Three reasons why PSG must beat Chelsea (but might not)
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Three reasons why PSG must beat Chelsea (but might not)

Ben McPartland · 9 Mar 2016, 17:50

Published: 09 Mar 2016 17:50 GMT+01:00

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Season would be over

If PSG are knocked out of the Champions League on Wednesday then that’s basically season over for the French club.

Some will say they can still win the league, but they are effectively in a league of one, this year given the poor level of other teams in Ligue 1, so have basically already won it.  

Some would say they still have the French Cup to play for, but we all know they’re clutching at straws.

Some would say the players can still look forward to the card games on the bus to matches.

From the Qatari owners at the top of the club, to the boss Laurent Blanc and team talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the only competition that matters to them this year is the Champions League.

They’ve been knocked out at the quarter final stage for the last three seasons, including once by Chelsea, but this year, they simply have to go further. They didn’t go and spend €63 million on Angel Di Maria just to be knocked out in the last 16.

In short, their whole season hinges on getting through tonight.

But that makes it hard for a team. To only have three or four big matches a season brings with it its own pressure.

Chelsea, for perhaps the first time in years, will be playing without that same pressure to win, given they are underdogs, have an interim manager and owner Roman Abramovic has already got a European Cup somewhere in his bottomless pocket.

Zlatan’s last season

PSG may lose tonight but at least they can come back next year.

But it will probably be without their star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

This should be Zlatan’s last season with the French club and the big man would dearly love to go out on a high.

He is desperate to be removed from those “greatest players to never win the Champions League” articles that are all over football websites.

PSG have surely got to give him one final shot at the trophy, or at least get him close.

The problem is the big Swede is not known as a big game player and has a tendency to underperform against English clubs. But Zlatan can’t do worse than last year, when he was sent off in the first half.

They probably deserve it

Story continues below…

How can you say they deserve it before they’ve even played the game?

Well, let’s take football out of the equation and just accept that PSG and their French coach Laurent Blanc, have been knocking at the Europe’s door for some years now.

The club are desperate to join Europe’s elite and while big oil-rich pockets shouldn’t give them a free pass to the big time, it would be nice to see them get a little further to a semi-final or final, just to see how they get on.

A team full of young talent, a club – the only one in the French capital – that could be enormous in size, and supporters thirsty for success.

Let them have it. Paris could do with a moment of triumph after what it’s been through, so who’d begrudge the city’s team delivering it.

Well Chelsea and their fans for a start. Damn.

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

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