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Emma Hayes does not expect Chelsea to be intimidated by partisan crowd in Paris

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 29 Jan 2024

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Chelsea boss Emma Hayes does not expect her players to be intimidated by a partisan home crowd in Paris in their final Women’s Champions League group match.

Hayes’ side, who secured their place in the knockout stages by beating Real Madrid 2-1 last week to finish top of Group D, face a Paris FC side who can also progress with victory.

Paris must win at the Sebastien Charlety Stadium on Tuesday night and hope Swedish side Hacken fail to beat bottom club Real Madrid.

Hayes told a press conference: “It’s an important game for both of us. We know from the home game the qualities of Paris. We know it’s a game they want to win, but so do we.

“We respect them. It’s their home, we know it will be a big crowd and we’re looking forward to it.

“Playing in front of a crowd is normal for us. We’re used to big numbers, we like to play with a crowd.

“We’ve played in Paris before, albeit at PSG, so we know what the atmosphere is like and the players very much like playing in front of numbers.”

Chelsea, currently top of the Women’s Super League after just one defeat in their first 12 matches, are unbeaten in Group D after three wins and two draws.

They will be bidding to extend their three-point lead over Manchester City at the top of the WSL on Sunday when they face Everton at home, but Hayes is not looking beyond the next challenge in the French capital.

“We respect the competition and the group,” added Hayes, whose side beat Paris 4-1 at home in November. “We know what their threats are. We know particularly the pace they have in the wide areas.

“I also think they’ve got good experience centrally. I think it will be a different game from the game at Stamford Bridge.”

Goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger has remained at home due to injury and Germany midfielder Melanie Leupolz will be rested, but Hayes confirmed she will otherwise be selecting from an unchanged squad.

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