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PSG test Chelsea, Zenit to beat Benfica in Champions League last 16

Holly Thackeray | March 8, 2016

Wednesday promises headline Champions League wrangles galore, as Chelsea attempt to overturn a 2-1 first leg last 16 deficit to Ligue 1 giants PSG, while Portuguese protagonists Benfica try to hold on to their slim advantage in a daunting trip to face Russia’s Zenit St Petersburg.

Read on to find out Coral’s top tips for Wednesday evening’s action, whether we think the Blues can win the battle of Stamford Bridge and if the Russians can repeal their previous result…

Chelsea v PSG

  • Champions League last 16 second leg
  • Wednesday, March 9th
  • Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
  • Stamford Bridge, west London
  • Live on BT Sport Europe

Parisians to pounce in London

Expect a glamorous but gritty game as Laurent Blanc’s PSG boys cross the channel to defend their Champions League first leg last 16 lead in London, with odds of 8/5 for victory in 90 minutes on English soil.

France Soccer Champions League

Chelsea’s last loss arrived away against the Parisians in a cracking clash between these two continental capital clubs, but the Blues came unstuck against Stoke City on their previous Premier League outing, so seem short at 9/5 to now sink superior opposition.

Blanc’s buoyed team, meanwhile, have been beaten just twice all term across an incredible 44 games in all competitions.

Should you still fancy Guus Hiddink’s Blues boys for a result at the Bridge, PSG may well tighten the reins after their own domestic league draw, so a split of the spoils at 23/10 seems a better shout, with the guests odds-on at 4/11 to cement a spot in the quarter-finals.

An encounter with attacking history

Chelsea have not failed to be on target in their past seven scuffles, while PSG have drawn only four blanks all season, making the French juggernauts a tempting 21/5 to win and both teams score.

There is certainly a precedent to both teams bagging in their battles, with the two teams on target in four of their last five frays.

Chelsea v Manchester City - Emirates FA Cup - Fifth Round - Stamford Bridge

As for scorers, in a Blues boost, PSG-linked predator Diego Costa (5/4 to find the net anytime) and fellow forward Pedro Rodrgiuez (10/3) have returned to training ahead of this tussle.

Brazil international Willian (7/2) could pose his usual set-piece threat alongside another linked with a summer switch to France, Eden Hazard (7/1 to strike last).

As for PSG poachers, Uruguay hitman Edinson Cavani, tipped to head in the opposition direction to Stamford Bridge, notched in the first leg and is 5/1 to fire in the final goal again.

Paris Saint-Germain v Chelsea - UEFA Champions League - Round of 16 - First Leg - Parc des Princes

Then, of course, there is lethal leading Ligue 1 marksman Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who opened scoring in Paris and is 4/1 to draw first blood once more.

Zenit St Petersburg v Benfica

  • Champions League last 16 second leg
  • Wednesday, March 9th
  • Kick-off: 17:00 GMT
  • Petrovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg
  • Live on BT Sport Europe

Zenit eyeing last eight

In the earlier kick-off, Russian outfit Zenit St Petersburg host Portuguese big-guns Benfica, and are 21/20 for a triumph on home turf in normal time.

The hosts trail 1-0 after a last-gasp goal from Jonas Oliveira (7/4 in the anytime market), the Eagles’ surprise potent package this season alongside Greek goal threat Kostas Mitroglou.

Still, former Porto, Chelsea and Tottenham boss Andre Villa-Boas sounded confident of his team’s chances to reverse the result, stating: “In the return leg at we have such an advantage with our fans.

Portugal Champions League Soccer

“I am sure it will be a full stadium and they will create the atmosphere that will help the team to a new level,” the Portuguese continued.

“We are confident that we can score the necessary goals. The quarter-finals of the Champions League is our dream – it will be a major event for Russian football. And of course, this special emotion will help us on Wednesday.”

Benfica backline trouble beckons

Zenit are only a 15/8 chance to qualify for the quarter-finals for the first time in their history, while Primeira Liga leaders Benfica are odds-on at 2/5 after a morale-boosting Lisbon derby win at the weekend.

However, Zenit can benefit from a depleted Eagles defence, with stopper Julio Caesar plus rearguard options Luisao, Jardel Nivaldo Vieira and Andre Almeida all unavailable through either injury or suspension.

So, back the likes of Samba Boys star Hulk and Russia international Artem Dzyuba, both priced 5/1 to score first and last respectively, to get on the scoresheet.

Related

Our Champions League page is the place to peruse for more previews and news.

Coral’s top tip: PSG look profitable at 21/5 to win in 90 mins and both teams score.

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