Chelsea have been told that alongside Man City and Liverpool, Paris Saint-Germain and Lionel Messi could indeed end up being their biggest threat to the Champions League crown due to the firepower Mauricio Pochettino has at his disposal.
The Blues aim to kick off their knockout campaign on the right foot when Lille come to town on Tuesday night for the first leg of their Round of 16 tie.
Whilst the two clubs battle it out under the lights at Stamford Bridge, all of Man City, Liverpool and PSG amongst others will be watching keenly to see how the reigning European champions fare against the so-called underdogs in this situation.
All three of the aforementioned trio have taken positive steps towards the quarter-finals of this year’s competition with wins against Sporting Lisbon, Inter and Real Madrid respectively.
Unless a miraculous turnaround occurs in Liverpool’s and Man City’s ties specifically, it is highly likely that both will progress one step closer to the grand piece final.
For PSG and Pochettino, they must ram home the 1-0 victory that Kylian Mbappe gifted to them in the first leg when they once again take on Carlo Ancelotti’s side in the second leg of their respective tie at the Santiago Bernabeu next week.
If all three giants were to move on forward in this season’s competition coupled with Chelsea’s expected progression as reigning champions, four out of the eight teams in the next round will all have their arguments as to why they each should be labelled as favourites to pick up the crown.
However, former Blues star Florent Malouda has now weighed in on the debate as he reckons Lionel Messi and PSG could be one to watch out for Chelsea wise if they were to maintain a certain ‘confidence’ level that could help them achieve history.
Malouda said in an interview with Genting Casino: “As usual, it would be Liverpool, Man City – the English teams are always dangerous. Then you have PSG or Madrid. Especially Paris. They are always close.
“They brought in Messi to win this competition. PSG are so willing to win the Champions League, they could be a danger if they find the right attacking balance. And this could happen very fast because when their attacking players find confidence, you’re talking about serious firepower.”
If PSG were to make Malouda’s predictions come true, then they will need to quickly fix up ‘confidence’ wise if they are to topple Thomas Tuchel’s side.
Their most recent 3-1 defeat to Nantes on the weekend coupled with the ever-growing speculation regarding Pochettino and Man United has created a situation whereby not many are expecting the Qatari-owned club to land the ultimate prize of the coveted Champions League trophy.