Chelsea's Cesar Azpilicueta expects tight game against PSG
Chelsea full-back Cesar Azpilicueta expects next week's Champions League tie with Paris Saint-Germain to be tight but says the Blues' renewed belief gives them hope of progressing.
Azpilicueta, 26, was part of an injury-hit Chelsea backline as they went down to a 2-1 defeat against PSG in the first leg of their round-of-16 tie in Paris on Feb. 16.
A 2-1 victory at Norwich on Tuesday lifted Chelsea into the top half of the Premier League table for the first time since the opening week of the season.
As a result, Azpilicueta feels his side are coming into form ahead of another meeting with the French champions next Wednesday.
The two teams will be playing each other in London for the third time in a row. Two years ago Chelsea won 2-0 to advance from the quarterfinals on away goals, while last year Thiago Silva's extra-time header saw PSG go through to the last eight following a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge.
"We have as much confidence as the other years," Azpilicueta told French radio station RMC on Wednesday.
"We know we're forming a good team who are going to take on PSG -- who are also another very good team that are hard to play against. It will be tight until the end."
Chelsea are unbeaten in domestic competition since Guus Hiddink replaced Jose Mourinho as manager in December.
The Blues have put together a run of 12 matches without defeat in the Premier League and have reached the FA Cup quarterfinals so Azplilcueta is hoping they can rise to the challenge in next week's second leg against PSG.
"We experienced a very bad period in the league [before Christmas] but with Guus Hiddink we've climbed up the table well," the Spain international said.
"We were in a position that a club like Chelsea cannot be in. Little by little we're in the process of getting out of it.
"But the Champions League is something else. Every match is very, very difficult. We know we have to win and above all not to concede -- because we know that away goals are decisive.
"We saw that last year -- we conceded two goals and in the end we were eliminated.
"We're going to take on this match with the desire to win and therefore to score. We will have to concentrate for 90 minutes or even 120 minutes. We know that we're a good team -- that we have the means to knock out PSG, even if they are among the sides that are very difficult to play."