Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea clash for the third season running in the UEFA Champions League, with both teams looking for that leg-up when they meet in the first leg of the last 16 in Paris on Tuesday.
While Chelsea has struggled this season to assert their dominance after running away with the English Premier League title in 2014-15, PSG has had no such problems, as their huge 24-point lead in the Ligue 1 standings would suggest.
Having said that, however, Chelsea are always a dangerous side in Europe, as PSG themselves found out two seasons ago when the London club knocked them out of the UEFA Champions League in the quarterfinal stage. PSG, though, did get the better of Chelsea in the round of 16 last year, and smart money will be on the French champions, unbeaten in 23 matches, doing it again.
To do that, the first leg will be crucial, with Laurent Blanc, whose team holds ambitions of winning the Champions League this season, looking for a big lead to take to Stamford Bridge.
"We'll need to impose our game on Chelsea, a team who are capable of beating us," Blanc said of their opponents to UEFA's official website. "We met Chelsea in the past two seasons: they beat us once and we eliminated them once, which shows that the level of the two teams is very similar.
"The Champions League gives them an opportunity for positive things in an otherwise difficult season, and their manager is very experienced having won the competition already.
"We all know our entire season will be judged on our Champions League campaign – for most media, not winning the league is not an option, and it would also look bad not to win both domestic cups. The Champions League is something else, because we only face clubs that have the same level or higher as us.
"We have the capacity to do well in this competition, more so than in previous years. Starting now, we'll only face teams that have the quality to win it. But that's when things become the most interesting for the club, for the players and for the manager. We have the potential to win this competition."
Chelsea will feel the same way as well, and winning the Champions League title looks like being their only route to qualifying for the competition next year. The Blues are currently 14 points behind fourth-placed Manchester City, and it is next-to-impossible for them to catch Manuel Pellegrini's men before the season ends.
So, winning the Champions League and qualifying is the only solution, much like they did in 2012. Chelsea certainly is capable of doing that, with the team improving considerably since Guus Hiddink took over from Jose Mourinho. The team has gone 11 games unbeaten since the Dutchman's return, and there were signs of the attacking rhythm returning in the 5-1 thumping of Newcastle at the weekend.
"I this it's 50-50 [for the tie]," Hiddink said. "Paris is building a very strong team, dominating the French league. To become a great club, a team must win the Champions League, and they're certainly aiming for it. On our side, we've been improving since December, but it'll be a great test to get to the next round.
"We're growing. Everyone knows the current situation of Chelsea. We're improving step by step, with quality players. We are not yet where we want to be, to be able to impose our style of play, but we've had a string of games with dominant play from us."
Key players: PSG: Angel Di Maria has just made this Paris Saint-Germain team a little better, turning them into nearly-theres in Europe to real, strong contenders. The Argentine will be key to PSG taking a strong first leg lead, with the midfielder, no doubt, looking to lay a few goals on a plate for Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Chelsea: Diego Costa has been a man transformed since Hiddink took over, with those goals coming with greater regularity. If the Spaniard finds the net a couple of times in Paris, Chelsea will be in the driver's seat going into the second leg early next month.
Where to Watch Live
PSG vs Chelsea is set to begin at 8.45 pm local time (7.45 pm GMT, 2.45 pm ET, 1.15 am IST). Live coverage on TV in India of the match will be on Ten Action and Ten HD. Viewers in India and the subcontinent can also watch the UEFA Champions League last 16 first leg game live online on Tensports Live.
Fox Sports 1 will broadcast the UCL game live in the US, while PSG vs Chelsea can also be live streamed online on FoxSoccer2Go.
Audience in Canada, France, Spain, Australia, Indonesia, Thailand, North Africa and the Middle East can watch PSG vs Chelsea live on TV and online on Bein Sports and Bein Sports Connect.
Viewers in China can watch the action live on PPTV Sports and QQ Sports.