Gary Cahill has warned Chelsea they will need to respect the threat posed by Zlatan Ibrahimovic when they face Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on Wednesday.
The Sweden striker, who opened the scoring in the French champions’ 2-1 first-leg win, was furious with the attitude of Chelsea players in last season’s tie after he was sent off for a foul on Oscar.
Ibrahimovic stated that he is not seeking revenge when he returns to Stamford Bridge this week, but Cahill says his side must be on their guard.
“He’s a top player, one who can be very dangerous on his day,” said the centre-back.
“For him, it was unfortunate the last time around but for his team it was positive because they went through. This tie is settled perfectly but he is very vocal on the pitch – he does like the sound of his own voice – but he deserves respect and he’s one we have to look out for.”
Willian has emerged as Chelsea’s attacking talisman this season and Cahill has told PSG that they will need to be on their mettle to keep him quiet.
“Willian has improved month after month, this season has been his strongest in a Chelsea shirt, he’s been one of our outstanding performers this year,” he said. “I’m very excited for the fans to come and watch and for us to give him the ball and let him do his stuff.
“The PSG defenders will not relish playing against him and he’s a very special player on his day.”
PSG poked fun at Diego Costa through their Twitter account on Tuesday, posting a picture of the striker as part of a montage of masked film characters while using the caption ‘spot the fraud’.
Did you spot the hero? Ok, now it’s time to find the fraud… https://t.co/pkKAUdV1pP
— PSG English (@PSG_English) March 8, 2016
“Everyone knows Diego doesn’t need any more motivation – he’s a winner, another big player,” Cahill said of his team-mate. “It’ll be a good clash.”
John Terry has been ruled out of the match due to injury and, with his Chelsea future in doubt as he enters the final months of his contract, Cahill is determined to progress in order to give him another chance to play for the club in Europe.
“We feel a responsibility to go out and perform as well as we can. We know it’ll be difficult but we have to try to achieve the most we can. We realise it’s an important game but we should enjoy that.
“We are all motivated because we all know how important this game is tomorrow night. It’s unfortunate John isn’t fit for this game and it would be nice to go through and hopefully he’ll be fit again soon.”