Two of the most prolific strike forces in European football come together on Wednesday evening as Paris Saint Germain host Liverpool at the Parc de Princes for a crunch UEFA Champions League clash.
Both sides could still potentially face elimination from the competition, making the importance of a positive result even more imperative in the French capital.
Paris Saint Germain
Currently sitting third in Group C of the Champions League, a loss to the Reds would really damage the Parisians’ hopes of progressing to the next round of the competition. The French champions have not failed to progress from their group when participating in the Champions League since the 2004/05 campaign. If they are to avoid this fate though, they have to break their current underwhelming run in the competition this year having only claimed one victory, that coming against Red Star Belgrade.
Despite that, their form in Ligue 1 still makes Thomas Tuchel’s men an imperious opponent. They have won every single game in league action so far and currently sit 15 points clear at the top of the table. It is their form at the Parc de Princes that has seen the team do that having won 11 out of their 12 games at home, averaging 3.5 goals per game in that time. In particular, they have only lost one match on home soil in their last 15 in European competition so will look to that statistic for inspiration against Liverpool.
Tuchel could receive a considerable boost with the returns of superstars Kylian Mbappe and Neymar. The duo were both injured on international duty and missed the weekend’s game against Toulouse but could be fit to face Liverpool.
Despite sitting second in their group, Liverpool are only one point better off than PSG following their 2-0 defeat to Red Star Belgrade last time out. That defeat really put the Reds’ qualifications hopes in jeopardy as had they picked up the three points, they would be all but through by now. Instead, they face two crunch clashes against PSG and Napoli. Having reached the final of the Champions League last season, a group stage exit this season would obviously be a huge disappointment.
Jurgen Klopp’s troops head into the match as one of only two teams still undefeated in the Premier League – the other being reigning champions Manchester City. One of their Achilles heals of recent seasons, their defence, seems to be much improved this season. They have only conceded 12 goals in 18 games in all competitions so far throughout 2018/19. This aspect, then, could be crucial as they travel to Parc de Princes to face a PSG side that is blessed with considerable attacking talent.
Defender Joe Gomez will return to the side after recovering from a slight ankle problem, according to Jurgen Klopp. However, long-term absentees Adam Lallana and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain remain restricted to the treatment table.
Key Facts To Consider
- Liverpool have the better of the all-time record between the two sides (W2, L1)
- The Reds lost on their only previous visit to Paris 3-0 in the UEFA Cup Winners Cup
- Mo Salah has been involved in eight goals in his last seven appearances (six goals, two assists)
- Thomas Tuchel has only ever managed to beat a Jurgen Klopp team once in 13 attempts
- PSG have only won one out of their last seven games in the UEFA Champions League
Considering the importance of this game, it could go one of two ways. It could be a cagey affair at the Parc de Princes, with both teams aware of how important a victory is, or both teams could put on an excellent display of attacking football in the effort of notching the three points. Considering the 3-2 result between the two earlier this season, most could suggest the latter and it could be clever to bet on goals.
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