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Women's Football Hayes confident Chelsea can get the better of PSG in Champions League quarter-final

Chelsea manager Emma Hayes has said that her side are “better prepared than ever” for next year’s Champions League quarter-final tie against PSG.

The Blues were handed one of the toughest draws last week, given that the French side have reached the final twice in the past three years.

However, Hayes believes that her side have nothing to fear when they play the first leg next March and that Chelsea will head into the tie full of confidence.

“I think it’s a great draw, Chelsea versus PSG in the quarter-finals of the Champions League,” Hayes told Chelsea’s official website.

“The best players want to play in the best games and this is certainly one of them. I don’t think it matters who you draw at this stage, because they are all top teams. Paris are the second best team in France, they’re full of internationals and, while there may have been easier opponents to face, we’ll go into the tie confident. 

“We’ve been building our way through this competition and we are better prepared than ever to go one step further.”

The Blues enter the quarter-final on the back of a superb round of 16 victory over Fiorentina, Fran Kirby announcing herself to the Champions League with her first hat-trick in the competition.

The victory meant that Chelsea reached the last eight in Europe for the second time in their fourth consecutive appearance in the competition.

As they continue to gain experience, Chelsea are fast becoming one the teams to avoid in Europe, though Hayes knows the Paris side will be just as confident as her team at progressing to the semi-finals.

“I’m sure they’ll be confident,” said Hayes, “but I feel fully confident we can progress if we can keep applying ourselves the way we are. We’ve become tougher to beat.”

While this will be the first time the two sides meet, Chelsea and PSG have a history in the men’s competition and Hayes believes that the women’s sides are more than capable of putting on a spectacular show when they square off in 2019.

“There’s a good rivalry between the two clubs, with the men’s teams having met several times in the Champions League, and I think it will be a brilliant spectacle.”

The winner of the two legs will face either Wolfsburg, who knocked Chelsea out of the competition at this stage last season, or Lyon who boast some of the best players in the world including England’s Lucy Bronze.

Hayes knows it will be hard to not think about such a mouth-watering fixture but is insisting that her side will focus on the task at hand when the time comes.

“You’ve just got to take one game at a time,’ she said. “So there’s no point looking ahead to either of them. We’ve got to focus on beating Paris – that’s my sole focus when it comes to this competition. 

“We need to keep improving and, if we do that, we’ll be closer to the top teams.”

Before Chelsea next play in the Champions League, they have a Women’s Super League title to defend.

The club currently sit fourth, a whopping eight points behind unbeaten leaders Arsenal and have played a game more.

Next up is Yeovil on Sunday, who enter the game on the back of their first WSL win.

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