Friday, May 24, 2024

Prediction: Borussia Dortmund vs Paris Saint-Germain

Verdict: Away win

Best odds: 7/5

Bookmaker: BetUS

Having already met in the group stage of the Champions League this season, Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain will now do battle for a place in the final. The first leg of their semifinal clash takes place on Wednesday at the Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund, and both teams will obviously seek a positive result to take into the rematch in Paris six days later. Meanwhile, the final opponent for the eventual winner will be decided between Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.

BVB and PSG got through the quarterfinals in a similarly impressive way, by overcoming their first-leg deficits against Spanish teams, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona, respectively.

Borussia Dortmund

Having lost the first leg of the quarterfinal in Madrid by 2-1, Dortmund beat Atletico 4-2 at home to record a 5-4 aggregate victory over the Rojiblancos and reach the Champions League semifinals for the first time since 2012/13, when Jurgen Klopp took them to the final where they eventually lost to domestic rivals Bayern.

Speaking of Dortmund’s domestic challenges, things haven’t been going too well in the Bundesliga lately for Edin Terzic’s men. They failed to win either of their last two matches in the German top flight, albeit against better-placed teams as they drew 1-1 against the newly crowned champions, Bayer Leverkusen, and lost 4-1 away to RB Leipzig. Dortmund came very close to being the first side to beat Xabi Alonso’s team this season in any competition after Niclas Fullkrug broke the deadlock with just nine minutes of the 90 left, but they conceded a heartbreaking equalizer, the work of Josip Stanisic, in the seventh minute of stoppage time. A week later, Dortmund took the lead through Jadon Sancho at the Red Bull Arena, but Lois Openda, Benjamin Sesko, Mohamed Simakan and Christoph Baumgartner all got on the scoresheet to secure a comprehensive victory for Leipzig.

Nonetheless, as things stand, fifth place in the Bundesliga is very likely to bring Champions League football in the extended competition format next season, so Terzic and his men shouldn’t be too worried about that. Naturally, they could secure qualification by getting past PSG and winning this season’s final as well.

Team News

Dortmund will be missing injured players Ramy Bensebaini (knee) and Sebastien Haller (ankle) on Wednesday. Ian Maatsen (muscle), Donyell Malen (thigh) and Mats Hummels (shin) are all facing fitness assessments ahead of kick-off, with Hummels being substituted due to his issue early in the second half against Leipzig.

Emre Can, along with Maatsen, returns from a domestic suspension and is available for selection. The former Liverpool and Juventus midfielder could replace Salih Ozcan or Felix Nmecha in the middle of the park.

Niclas Fullkrug, the team’s top scorer with 14 goals in all competitions this season, is expected to start upfront, aiming to extend his scoring streak in his third consecutive home game. Sancho and Karim Adeyemi are likely to provide support from the flanks.

Paris Saint-Germain

PSG have advanced to the Champions League semifinals for the third time in five seasons, edging out Barcelona 6-4 on aggregate in a thrilling quarterfinal clash. Despite losing 3-2 in the first leg at home, they orchestrated a remarkable turnaround in Spain, clinching a 4-1 victory with goals from Kylian Mbappe (two), Vitinha, and Ousmane Dembele against his former club, following Ronald Araujo’s dismissal.

Unlike for Dortmund, PSG’s momentum carried into the domestic league with successive 4-1 wins over Olympique Lyon and Lorient. Although they had to settle for a dramatic 3-3 draw against Le Havre, PSG clinched their 12th league title after second-placed Monaco’s loss to Lyon.

Heading into their Champions League fixture against Dortmund, Luis Enrique’s side are buoyed by an unbeaten streak of 15 away games in all competitions, stretching back to their 2-1 loss away to AC Milan six months ago. Despite finishing second to Dortmund in Group F, PSG managed a 1-1 draw in their meeting at the Signal Iduna Park in the first stage and remain eager to secure their first victory against BVB on German soil, this being their third attempt to do so.

Team News

Enrique also has a few absences due to injuries to work around, with Presnel Kimpembe (Achilles), Layvin Kurzawa (back), and Sergio Rico (head) still in the recovery process.

The former Barcelona coach opted to rest key players like Gianluigi Donnarumma, Nuno Mendes, Lucas Hernandez, and Fabian Ruiz in the previous fixture, but they are all expected to be back in contention for Wednesday’s match, and likely to be named in the starting XI.

Kylian Mbappe, who started on the bench last time out, is set for a recall as well. The prolific forward has netted eight of his 43 goals this season in the Champions League and could feature alongside Dembele and Bradley Barcola in the attacking line.

Conclusion

Dortmund appear to have thrown everything at doing well in this last stage of the Champions League campaign, but given the form PSG have shown away from Parc des Princes, as well as the motivation Mbappe will surely have to make his final season at the club count for more than any before, the Ligue 1 giants are likely to return to France with an advantage.

Verdict: Away win

Best odds: 7/5

Bookmaker: BetUS

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Veselin Trajkovic


Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on seven different football blogs.

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