Sat | Oct 20, 2018

European Champions League

Published:Tuesday | February 17, 2015 | 12:00 AM


Cristiano Ronaldo finds himself in a rare position: The goals are drying up for the Real Madrid star. The Ballon d'Or winner has not scored in his past three games and has netted just four times in the past 10 - totally unexpected given that he started the season with 17 in his first 11.

The good news is that Schalke are their next opponents: They meet in the last 16 of the Champions League tomorrow. Ronaldo scored four goals when Madrid routed the German side 9-2 on aggregate in the competition last season.

Goals have been easy to come by, too, for rampant Bayern Munich, which warmed up for today's trip to play Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk with an 8-0 destruction of Hamburger SV.

Paris Saint-Germain have been struck by a major injury crisis ahead of today's home game against fully-fit Chelsea - which knocked PSG out at the quarter-final stage last season. Swiss side Basel faces Porto tomorrow.

Here are some other things to know about the Champions League's last-16 games:


Paris Saint-Germain coach Laurent Blanc is doing a headcount to see who is fit to face Chelsea. Midfielder Yohan Cabaye, Brazilian winger Lucas, centre half Lucas, and right back Sergie Aurier all limped off injured in Saturday's 2-2 home draw with Caen and have been ruled out. Midfielder Blaise Matuidi is rated as doubtful after taking a blow to his knee.

"We won't have a lot of options. We'll have (Thiago) Motta and maybe (Javier) Pastore," Blanc said. "We knew we were on the razor's edge in terms of tiredness, but I honestly never thought this kind of thing would happen. We're very unlucky in terms of the number of injuries, and it will have an impact."

With Lucas out, Blanc desperately needs Pastore to be fit.

The Argentine playmaker was PSG's best player when they beat Chelsea 3-1 in the home leg of their Champions League quarter-final last season.

"For the time being I can't confirm he'll be in the squad," Blanc said.

The contrast between injury-hit Paris Saint-Germain and fully-rested Chelsea could not be greater. While PSG lost four players to injury on Saturday, Jose Mourinho's Chelsea players benefited from a rare weekend off with the team not involved in FA Cup action.

"I welcome this little rest for the players," said Mourinho, who is bidding to win the competition with a third different club after success with Porto and Inter Milan.