Branislav Ivanovic admits the last 16 Champions League clash with Paris Saint-Germain could make or break Chelsea’s season.
The Blues’ terrible start to the season killed off any chance of retaining their Premier League crown and means they are extremely unlikely to finish in the top four.
As a result, winning the Champions League is the Londoners’ best chance of qualifying for Europe’s elite competition next season, and Ivanovic is well aware of the importance of the trip to the Parc de Princes.
“It’s a big game for us. This season hasn’t been going well for us but this is the kind of game we’ve been waiting for and hopefully it will be a turning point,” he told Chelsea’s official website.
“It’s going to be very hard but it’s a great opportunity for us. Hopefully it will be our night. Of course we still have the second leg to play at home but what happens there will be based on the first game.
“We are excited and looking forward to it. Paris Saint-Germain are playing really well and dominating the French league, we are not where we want to be but we have improved massively and we are ready.”
Due to the injuries to John Terry and Kurt Zouma, right-back Ivanovic is expected to partner Gary Cahill in the centre of defence as well as captain the side.
This is the third-consecutive season the two clubs have met in the Champions League, with Chelsea triumphing in 2013/14 before PSG won on away goals last term.
“In this type of game one piece of inspiration from a certain player, one quality pass or one small detail can make the difference,” Ivanovic added.
“When you look at the previous matches in the last two years they’ve been 50-50, with away goals coming into it. We have to be careful, we have to be 100 per cent focused.
“It’s very important to score away goals at this stage of the Champions League because it can give you a big advantage.
“However, we are also focused on not conceding in Paris and we will probably have to produce our best performance of the season if we want to be able to keep a clean sheet.”