Blanc backs Zlatan to play crucial role

Paris Saint-Germain coach Laurent Blanc is adamant that Zlatan Ibrahimovic will not wilt in Wednesday's UEFA Champions League last 16 second leg tie at Chelsea.

The Sweden international has rightfully earned a reputation as one of the most feared strikers in world football.

However, question marks have arisen at times over Ibrahimovic's impact in key matches, with critics pointing to a poor goalscoring record in the Champions League knockout stages.

But Blanc believes that the former Barcelona forward, who played under the stewardship of Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho at Inter, has the ability to score in any situation and stated he will be vital at Stamford Bridge as PSG look to progress to the last eight with the tie at 1-1.

"In terms of Ibrahimovic and his influence in knockout matches, regardless of who plays centre-back for Chelsea whether it's Gary Cahill or Kurt Zouma they will not envy facing him," Blanc said.

"The good news for PSG is that Zlatan will play. He loves the big occasion, he can score at any time, in any venue. He'll be important for us."

PSG arguably edged the first leg at the Parc des Princes, with Chelsea thankful to goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois for making a number of crucial saves.

"He [Courtois] was very good in the first leg," Blanc added. "If I'm honest I say I hope he plays well [on Wednesday] because we will have created chances.

"But I want him to play less well. The goalkeeper is why they [Chelsea] go into the game as slight favourites.

"If he plays well again PSG will have proved they played better than Chelsea."