PSG face Chelsea in tonight’s International Champions Cup fixture (which is basically a pre-season friendly with a fancy name) and here’s what to expect and whom to keep a close eye on:
1. Chelsea will be looking to register their first win this pre-season
After starting on a losing note against the reserve team of MLS side New York Red Bulls, Chelsea would be looking forward to get a pre-season win under their belt. Even though Chelsea fielded a rather strong team in both halves, the young guns of NYRB managed to outwit the better side on paper.
Jose Mourinho didn’t look very affected by this performance and even went on to say, “You’re talking to the manager of the top team in Premier League. I’m not worried”. He further added that, “They gave us a good match, maybe better than they should. If we play 10 times, we win nine”.
However as cocky as that sounds, I’m sure the Chelsea squad must have had some rigorous training sessions after that match and will be better prepared to face a rather settled side in PSG.
2. Falcao needs to get off to a positive start at Chelsea
With already Radamel Falcao being touted to be the third choice striker behind Diego Costa and Loic Remy, and young Dominic Solanke prying to grab on to an opportunity, Falcao has to make most of this pre-season.
Getting a good early impression and carrying it forward with some handy performances should certainly be one of his primary goals along with getting the ball to cross the all important line within the frame, which he rarely managed last season.
3. Look out for those future PSG superstars
You must be aware of this if you’ve been following PSG’s previous three pre-season matches. Although the PSG veterans have been among the elite performers and goalscorers, the young lads are looking more and more capable with some handy pre-season experience under their belt.
Jean-Kevin Augustin, an 18 year old forward has been among the goals and has also given some surprisingly mature performances this pre-season. Although its rather premature to say that he will have a major role to play for PSG this season and might well go out on loan, Augustin seems to be a talent to keep a keen eye on.
The same was being told about 22 year old Jean-Christophe Bahebeck a couple of years back, but he couldn’t convert his potential into meaningful performances. He also performed well in PSG’s pre season games, but i’d prefer to rather not jinx it for him this time around.
Lucas Digne has also been among the young performers who have shown immense potential, but considering that he has blatantly told Laurent Blanc that he’s looking for a move away from Paris, we’ll have to keep a close look on this one at the next destination he finds suitable.
4. Zlatan Ibrahimovic
With Ibra adding fuel to fire by saying his future is in his agent’s hands and then going a step further to talk about his relationship with Louis Van Gaal, one must have thought the 33 year old is set to change allegiances yet again. But then he went on to say that he is happy at PSG.
With football player’s going back on their words faster than Britney Spears went back on her marriage, nothing can be said about his future. Although, what we can say for certain is that when charismatic and flamboyant characters like himself are out on the pitch or in front of the camera, expect the unexpected.
Chelsea vs PSG was one of the entertaining fixtures in last season’s UEFA Champions league, and even though this one’s a friendly, all football supporters will be looking forward to this clash between reigning English and French champions.
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