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PSG well placed to win, but Chelsea a good bet for the away goal too

A look at the midweek betting action, with the Champions League back...

PSG favoured to win first leg

The Champions League is back with the knockout stages and for the third year in a row, Chelsea are paired with Paris Saint-Germain, a side whose riches far outweigh the spending capability of the London club's owner Roman Abramovich.

Chelsea are unbeaten in 12 matches since Guus Hiddink replaced Jose Mourinho in December. PSG, though, are unbeaten in 44 matches domestically, are 24 points clear at the top of the French league and have lost just once all season, at Real Madrid.

PSG rested a number of first-choice players at the weekend and the resultant draw with Lille brought to an end a run of 13 straight home wins in all competitions. Laurent Blanc's side have to be regarded as strong favourites to win Tuesday's first leg clash. Bet365 make it 7/10 on a home win and on form, that's not a bad price. 

What Chelsea will be striving for is that precious away goal, not least since this tie has been settled on away goals in each of the past two years. In fact, the away team has scored three times in four matches, although Chelsea did win 2-0 when they met at Stamford Bridge in 2014.

Since losing at home to Bournemouth in early December, Chelsea have scored in 12 of their 14 games and with Diego Costa back in form, Eden Hazard finally clicking into gear and defenders who can chip in with goals, they have plenty of firepower when playing well. If we presume PSG are going to play well, too, then the 11/10 with bet365 on both teams to score looks the best bet to have. 

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has scored in four of his past five home games. The Swede also takes penalties, and with rumours he may be moving on in the summer he will be desperate to show he can really produce the goods in the Champions League. Bet365 make him 21/20 to score at any time and that is worth taking.

In terms of the correct score, if John Terry doesn't make it and with Kurt Zouma out, Chelsea's defence has to be vulnerable but they will try to keep things tight. Since we expect both teams to score, and PSG to win, let's stick with a 2-1 win, on offer at 15/2, although 3-1 at 14/1 is also tempting. 

Roma to hold Madrid

Roma have won four matches in a row, which puts them in good heart for the visit of Real Madrid to the Olympic Stadium. The Italians are a decent side and though Madrid are a class above, it's not easy to win away against organised, Italian defences. Try the draw, at 29/10

11/2 double

And for a quick double to finish, let's take Benfica to beat Zenit St Petersburg at 23/20 and Gent, at 2/1, to upset a Wolfsburg team who have not won away since November. Those two work out at almost 11/2


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