Having retained the Ligue 1 title back in March, Pari Saint-Germain set sights on the closing stages of the UEFA Champions League eager to make a noticeable result. Standing on their way to the semi-finals of the elite club competition are Manchester City, who have been struggling with consistency lately.
French champions are sitting on the brink of the greatest success in the Qatari owners’ era and will not lack any motivation heading into the quarter-final two-legged tie against Manchester City. PSG have had another dominant season domestically, having wrapped up the Ligue 1 title last month with a remarkable 9-0 win at Troyes. Despite the derby loss to Monaco afterwards, Paris Saint-Germain got back to winning ways with a comprehensive 4-1 triumph over Nice. Zlatan Ibrahimovic was once again top of his form capping the impressive performance with a hat-trick in his first club match since the international break. Swedish striker is playing his final months in Paris and is eager to write another chapter in the history of the French giants before he closes door on his PSG chapter. Ibrahimovic is heading into the Wednesday match just one goal shy of the club’s record top scorer Pauleta who scored 78 goals in all competition for the French giants. PSG are playing their fourth successive quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League and the club believe it is time to make one step further having been eliminated at this point in last three seasons.
Marco Verratti and Javier Pastore are still recovering from their respective injiuries, while Blaise Matuidi is a doubt for Laurent Blanc’s side.
Wing back Serge Aurier is suspended indefinitely and will be changing clubs at the end of the season following his outburst towards manager and teammates.
Following a disappointing dip in form which saw Manchester City record back-to-back goalless draws with Norwich and Dynamo Kiev, the Citizens lost to Manchester United in the great derby to head for the international break feeling disappointed with their most recent form. Manuel Pellegrini’s men did manage to rediscover their form upon the return to club action as they are coming off from a 4-0 beating of Bournemouth, but they will not be allowed to let their guard down as they make the trip to France. Citizens’ form is highly unpredictable particularly on the road, but their most recent outings will have to be considered a slight improvement. Manchester City saw off the stubborn Dynamo Kiev in the previous round in the competition and will be looking to make an impression in Paris in their first-ever quarter-finals in the elite company. Clash at the Parc des Princes will be only the second meeting between PSG and Manchester City. Their only previous encounter happened in 2008 in the UEFA Cup group stages. Goalless draw was Manchester City’s only previous competitive game against French opposition.
Raheem Sterling Vincent Kompany and Joe Hart are struggling with their injuries, but Willie Caballero and Mangala have been lined up to feature instead. Kevin De Bruyne is a timely boost for the team as the Belgian made his return in Bournemouth thrashing.
Fabian Delph has resumed training, but midfielder Yaya Toure remains a serious doubt.
Key Factors to Consider
- PSG have lost only one of their six meeting with an English side at home
- Saints have been eliminated in the quarter-finals in each of the last three campaigns
- Manchester City are playing their first-ever Champions League quarter-finals
- Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored in last four Champions League matches
- Citizens kept the clean sheet in four of their last five fixtures
There is plenty at stake in the match between PSG and Manchester City who are both looking to write history in their two-legged tie in the quarter-finals. Hosts have been able to focus solely on their European challenge for the past few weeks and should be considered favourites to dispatch inconsistent Manchester City.
Verdict: Home win