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Chelsea will improve without Mourinho - Blanc

Laurent Blanc expects Chelsea to improve following the departure of manager Jose Mourinho.

The 52-year-old was relieved of his duties on Thursday, just seven months after winning the Premier League, following a dismal run of results in the first half of the campaign which has left Chelsea just a point above the bottom three after 16 games.

Chelsea will face Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League last 16 early next year and head coach Blanc says the Blues will likely become a more difficult opponent now that Mourinho has left.

"Jose Mourinho's exit will bring differences and Chelsea will improve," he said ahead of PSG's trip to face Caen.

"Will it change the face of Chelsea? I don't know. You can never know. I'll see who the new cocah is, if I know him, and what his philosophy is.

"It will be interesting to follow. There will certainly be differences."

The Ligue 1 leaders head into Saturday's game - their last before the mid-season break - with a 17-point lead at the top off the back of 15 wins and three draws from their 18 matches so far.

A win will see PSG break Lyon's record of 50 points set at the halfway stage of the 2006-07 season, and Blanc hopes to see his players fired up to make history - though he was eager to praise the efforts of fourth-placed Caen so far.

"It'll be a good thing if it adds extra motivation," he said. "We've prepared the match to win it. With respect for Caen and their coach, who I know very well and does excellent work. The ambition is to take three points and break that record.

"If they're there, they deserve their points. Caen and Angers, it's perhaps been a championship beyond their expectations. It's also perhaps because other teams aren't having the championship they should be.

"Our philosophy has not changed but the players are more effective. We've scored 60 in 26 games. That's still not bad. We've let in 10. That's not bad either."

Blanc also confirmed that both Edinson Cavani and Javier Pastore are fighting minor injury problems ahead of the game.

"We've nothing serious," he added. "We've got some minor injuries but nothing alarming. Javier, we'll have to see if the pain in his adductor disappears completely. Edi took a blow to his calf against Lyon."