Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Chelsea with momentum ahead of trip to Paris

15 February 2016, 17:05

Paris - Two months have passed since the draw for the Champions League last 16 was made and much has changed in that time as Paris Saint-Germain prepare to meet Chelsea in one of the headline ties on Tuesday.

When the sides were paired together for the third successive season in December's draw at UEFA's Swiss headquarters, PSG appeared the undisputed favourites.

That was as much down to Chelsea's travails as PSG's almost flawless form, but just three days later Jose Mourinho was sacked and the Premier League side have since begun a steady recovery under Guus Hiddink.

They remain in the bottom half of the Premier League but they have gone 12 games unbeaten, including a 5-1 thumping of Newcastle United on Saturday as Diego Costa scored his eighth goal in that time.

"Now we have more confidence to go there and to play. Paris have a great team, great players, but we go there to try to win the game," Willian told Chelsea TV.

PSG are not exactly in bad shape, with a 1-0 loss at Real Madrid in the group stage their only defeat in 39 games this season.

They have not lost a domestic match since March last year and had won 16 games in a row before a 0-0 draw with Lille on Saturday, when coach Laurent Blanc decided to rest top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic, captain Thiago Silva, Thiago Motta and Maxwell.

However, PSG's build-up to the match has been overshadowed after defender Serge Aurier was suspended for insulting Blanc and many of his team-mates in a video posted on social media.

Aurier would have started, as would highly influential midfielder Marco Verratti, who Blanc says is not fit enough having featured sparingly in a wearying run of 12 games in the last six weeks.

Also read: Man racially abused by Chelsea fans to attend PSG rematch

"They (Chelsea) didn't have a match last midweek, unlike us. The Champions League merits more preparation than we have been able to put in as we have been playing every three days," complained Blanc, whose side beat Chelsea in the last 16 a year ago after losing in the quarter-finals in 2014.

Hiddink says he will not take any risks on captain John Terry, who came off injured against Newcastle, while Kurt Zouma is out for the season with a knee injury.

- 'Super memories' -

Roma and Real Madrid, meanwhile, have both changed coaches since they were paired together with the first leg of their tie at the Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday.

Madrid came through their group unbeaten and ahead of PSG, but Rafa Benitez was sacked at the start of January with his team lagging behind in the Spanish title race and the legendary Zinedine Zidane has since come in, overseeing five wins and a draw in La Liga.

At Roma, French coach Rudi Garcia was fired last month after a run of one win in 10.

He has been replaced by Luciano Spalletti, who twice took Roma to the Champions League quarter-finals during a previous stint as coach, including in 2008 when the Giallorossi beat Real in the last 16.

Zidane, who has Gareth Bale, Marcelo and Pepe carrying injuries, of course has happy memories of the competition with Real, having starred in their 2002 final win over Bayer Leverkusen.

"I have super memories as a player and as a coach because I won it with this club as assistant manager with (Carlo) Ancelotti too, so obviously there is a particular allure," he added.

Wolfsburg reached the last 16 at the expense of Manchester United but the Bundesliga club had gone five games without a win before beating Ingolstadt 2-0 on Saturday to set themselves up for Wednesday's trip to Belgium to play Gent.

"The important thing for us is to have ended the negative run - we have won now and that's all that counts. There is a lot we can take from that for the future," said Wolves coach Dieter Hecking as his side prepare to face the team who were the surprise package of the group stage, qualifying at the expense of Valencia and Lyon.

Tuesday's other match sees Zenit St Petersburg and their Portuguese coach Andre Villas-Boas face Benfica in Lisbon.

The long Russian mid-season break means Zenit have not played competitively since December and they have already been in Portugal for some winter training.

"The main difficulty lies in the fact that we will meet with a team which is faster and more mobile, because it continues to play in a championship without interruption," said Villas-Boas last week.

For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page.



Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...