When UEFA Champions League quarter-finalists Chelsea and PSG do battle, the London club will be at an advantage, according to Laurent Blanc, the PSG manager has suggested that having the second leg of the clash taking place at Stamford Bridge will favour Chelsea.
The Frenchmen is right (just). A statistical analysis of 1,000s of Champions League games found that 53% of the teams who played at home in the second leg of a two legged tie, managed to progress. All the same, a 3% edge won’t be what will decide this tie.
The defending Ligue 1 champions are a full 11 points clear of second placed Monaco in their domestic league, and have put in a series of convincing performances in European competitions this year. On the back of substantial financial investment, they are fast becoming one of the Champions League newest power houses.
In last year’s competition they faced a similarly tough prospect, when they drew Barcelona at the same stage of the competition. Failing to progress (losing 3-3 on aggregate with less away goals) they nevertheless won universal praise for their quality and character. Laurent Blanc will be hoping for more of the same as he squares up against Jose Mourinho.
Their lethal domestic form this season has been supplemented by a strong European showing to this point. In many ways, they’re been more convincing than Chelsea up to this point, having conceded just 5 goals in 8 games, and scoring at least twice in all but one of their matches. They’ll undoubtedly be a serious threat to Chelsea’s ambitions of securing a second European title, and this remains the most intriguing fixture of last night’s quarter-final draw.