Manchester City will aim for the UEFA Champions League final when they face PSG in the second leg on Tuesday.
Manchester City will face Paris Saint-Germain in the second leg of the semi-final on Tuesday,
with Pep Guardiola aiming to crack his UEFA Champions League duck.
The Citizens are considered one of the favorites to advance to the final after a 2-1 victory in the first leg,
which saw them secure the win and score two crucial away goals.
It means that PSG must achieve three goals to have a chance of reaching the final for the second year in a row.
Up against a Manchester City defense that has only allowed 24 goals in the Premier League this season,
it’s an impossible task. Assume, however, that every club is capable of accomplishing that goal.
In that case, it will be PSG, who has a genuinely excellent attacking team and will be desperate to avenge themselves after being thoroughly outplayed in the first leg’s second half.
On the other hand, the visitors are coming off a hard-fought 2-1 victory over RC Lens that kept them in the Ligue 1 title chase,
And they have a game against Rennes on the horizon.
On the other hand, Manchester City could have clinched the Premier League title on Sunday if the match between Manchester United and Liverpool postpone due to a fan invasion at Old Trafford.
Nonetheless, Pep Guardiola has had the luxury of resting some of his leading players,
And his team is a clear favorite going into this match.
We’ll run the rule over these two sides here at The Hard Tackle ahead of their big match in the second leg of the Champions League semi-final this week.
Team News & Tactics
Pep Guardiola set to make improvements to the team that faced Crystal Palace.
He gave his leading players, including Ruben Dias, Ilkay Gundogan, Kevin De Bruyne, and Phil Foden, a breath in this game.
Dias, in particular, is expected to play a critical role in Manchester City’s four-man backline alongside John Stones.
In the first leg, the two played well together, leaving no room for Kylian Mbappe to run into and keep Neymar in check for most of the second half.
On the other hand, Kyle Walker is a lock to start in the right-back spot, as his speed will be crucial in dealing with Mbappe.
On the other hand, things could get interesting on the opposite flank, where Oleksandr Zinchenko made a big impression after replacing Joao Cancelo.
In a game where Guardiola is likely to change the team’s dynamics, Cancelo might prefer at left-back.
The midfield unit may be completely overhauled, with Rodri being the only player who is likely to keep his place.
His ability to distribute possession and excellent positioning make him an indispensable member of the Manchester City team,
Mainly because it allows Gundogan and De Bruyne to express themselves more freely in the future.
Both of these defensive midfielders have the potential to be crucial in the second line of defense.
They’ll try to put pressure on PSG’s ball carriers and force vital turnovers,
Allowing De Bruyne to pick his passes and unleash the speed of wide attackers like Riyad Mahrez and Phil Foden.
Manchester City will look to use the acting fake nine, Bernardo Silva, more in possession situations,
Which means Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus will have to settle for a bench spot once more.
The Portuguese international has posed a threat in the first line of defense on many occasions,
And PSG center-backs must be wary of his presence.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Ederson; Walker, Stones, Dias, Cancelo; De Bruyne, Rodri, Gundogan; Mahrez, Silva, Foden
Mauricio Pochettino tried his hardest to shuffle his lineup over the weekend in Lens,
Resting Kylian Mbappe, Angel Di Maira, and Leandro Paredes and bringing in Marco Veratti from the bench.
Idrissa Gueye has ruled out of PSG’s midweek match after receiving a red card in the first leg. As a result, Veratti could expect to play a deeper midfield position alongside Paredes in the double pivot. It will provide Pochettino with the ability to add offensive firepower, and the Argentine currently has two choices.
Julian Draxler has been impressive in the Champions League, and he has a strong rapport with Mbappe and Neymar.
On the other hand, PSG will have a legitimate target man in Mauro Icardi, who has also been in excellent form in Ligue
We expect Icardi to give the go-ahead midweek, spearheading PSG’s assault.
The presence of Icardi in the number nine position may be beneficial to Neymar and Mbappe.
The latter, in particular, is expected to return to a more normal broad attacking role, in which he will be able to use his speed and trickery against Walker.
Di Maria, meanwhile, hopes to repeat his first-half success in the second leg by holding the opposition busy and dropping deep during possession periods, as well as providing defensive support for his defenders.
This time, he’ll almost certainly have to cover for Alessandro Florenzi. After Colin Dagba’s injury against Lens, the latter appears to be the only viable choice at right-back.
Pochettino should stick with the tried-and-true defensive pairing of Marquinhos and Presnel Kimpembe elsewhere in defense. Both, however, must change after a dismal second-half performance in the first leg.
Meanwhile, the young Mitchell Bakker could be replaced at left-back by Abdou Diallo, who minded defensively. Pochettino can’t risk putting Layvin Kurzawa up against Riyad Mahrez in this away leg, knowing he can’t afford any goals.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Navas; Florenzi, Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Diallo; Paredes, Veratti; Di Maria, Neymar, Mbappe; Icardi
Manchester City has won all four of their previous European encounters with PSG,
- (the most recent of which was in April 2016 in the second leg of the Champions League quarter-final).
- In the Champions League, PSG has only faced AC Milan (four times) more times without winning than they have against Man City (three).
- They beat Manchester United away earlier this season and are the sixth team to play both Manchester clubs in the same European season, but none of the previous five have won both games.
- Manchester City has won its last six Champions League games, and a win here will set a new record for the longest winning streak in European Cup/Champions League history by an English team.
- Manchester United (1965/66), Leeds United (1969/70), and Arsenal (1969/70) are the only other teams to have won six consecutive games (2005).
- Except for this tie, an English team won the first leg of a two-legged knockout-out tie away from home 47 times in the history of the European Cup/Champions League, and on each of those 47 occasions, the English team has advanced.
- PSG advanced from their last Champions League knockout tie after losing the first leg, recovering a 2-1 first-leg deficit against Borussia Dortmund in the final 16 to reach 3-2 on aggregate last season.
- On the other hand, the French team has never advanced after losing the first leg of a knockout tie at home in their illustrious UEFA European history.
Kylian Mbappe is a player to keep an eye on.
After receiving harsh criticism for his success against Manchester City, Kylian Mbappe has a point to prove. He struggled in tight spaces and couldn’t get past Ruben Dias and John Stones’ excellent defensive pairing. The lack of areas to run in behind seems to limit his attacking ability, which Guardiola has quickly recognized.
However, the Frenchman has been in sensational form in Ligue 1 recently, and after being rested in PSG’s win over Lens, he will be out to prove a point this midweek as PSG prepares to take on Manchester City.
Mbappe’s deployment out wide rather than in a central attacking position will be crucial for Pochettino, as it will enable him to exploit his speed correctly.
But one thing is sure: the youngster is due a big game, and his success against City could determine his team’s fate in this challenging match.
Manchester City defeated Paris Saint-Germain 3-1
It’s difficult to predict because both teams have talented players who can turn the tide of a game with a single magical moment.
It was evident in the first leg, mainly when Man City pulled off a remarkable comeback and brushed aside PSG’s defense.
Things may be a lot more difficult this time, as PSG would look to strike from the start. However, the Ligue 1 champions’ squad lacks discipline and disposition, and they can even crumble defensively throughout their attacking stance. We predict a 3-1 victory for the hosts, who will triumph thanks to their strategic approach to the game.