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Hiddink: Time to deliver

Guus Hiddink is hoping Stamford Bridge serves up a game for all Europe to enjoy when our finely balanced tie against Paris Saint-Germain reaches its conclusion on Wednesday night.

It is one success apiece between Chelsea and the side from the French capital from our meetings in the knockout stage of the Champions League over the past two years. On each occasion the second leg in London proved to be a thriller and our manager sees that capability within the sides again.

The Blues will be aided in our quest to overturn a 2-1 first-leg deficit if our big-name players are firing and the fitness update from Hiddink on the eve of the match is generally good. Although John Terry has confirmed the assessment made by his manager at the weekend that the skipper will not make this one, there is better news about the attacking force.

‘Diego Costa had a little problem at the weekend which is why he did not play but he was in training today so we will see for tomorrow’s game,’ said the Dutchman.

‘Pedro had a setback recently but he has been working hard and he has had some full training sessions and had a good session today, so he is back in the squad for tomorrow.’

Kenedy also trained having missed the Stoke game. Meanwhile, Hiddink’s opposite number Laurent Blanc is to make a late call on the availability of his Italian international midfielder Marco Verratti who has not played since February 20 due to a groin injury.

With finding the target imperative against Blanc’s team, the Chelsea manager is unconcerned that Diego Costa’s goal record in this competition for Chelsea does not match his scoring rate in the Premier League, or that Eden Hazard was substituted during the first leg in Parc des Princes.

‘Diego has scored recently in not the worst league in the world,’ Hiddink reasoned. ‘He is frequently scoring since December. Before that it was he and the team that had a problem not scoring so let’s hope and see if he can make it on the European level as well.

‘Eden at the time when we were playing away in Paris was just coming back from a rather severe injury and we could not ask him to be top game-fit. We are now some weeks further on and he can and must show tomorrow what he is capable of, which is more than in the away game, but the reason for his substitution was to not go into a danger zone due to his recent comeback from his injury. We think he can deliver now at full fitness.

‘It is always good to have an away goal in a European game,’ added Hiddink, turning his thoughts to the game in general. 

‘That doesn’t make it easy of course but it is a game between two big teams in European football. It will be a clash between two adventurous sides that hopefully Europe will enjoy.’

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