Preview: Paris Saint-Germain vs. Manchester City

Preview: Paris Saint-Germain vs. Manchester City

Manchester City’s second game of a brutally challenging week takes place at the Parc des Princes on Tuesday night, as Paris Saint-Germain seek revenge in Champions League Group A.

The two sides renew hostilities after clashing in last season’s semi-finals, where Pep Guardiola’s men claimed a pair of victories to end the Parisiens’ European dream for one more year.

Parisiens, neutrals and rival fans were finally treated to the sight of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe lining up in the same PSG team during their Champions League opener with Club Brugge two weeks ago, but the Ligue 1 giants were unable to mark the occasion with all three points.

Indeed, an unlikely goal source in Ander Herrera drew first blood with 15 minutes on the clock at the Jan-Breydel-Stadion, but Brugge captain Hans Vanaken levelled the scores before half time, and Mauricio Pochettino’s famed front three could not turn the game in their side’s favour.

Despite an early European setback, PSG have simply swept aside the competition so far in Ligue 1 and maintained their 100% record in the division with a 2-0 success over Montpellier HSC on Saturday, with Idrissa Gueye’s thunderous effort preceding a Julian Draxler strike late on.

The opening-day draw with Brugge represents the only game this season so far that PSG have failed to score at least twice, but Pochettino’s side now face an incredibly daunting run, with Rennes, RB Leipzig, Marseille and Lille lying in wait over the next four weeks.

Furthermore, PSG’s home struggles in the Champions League last term means that they welcome Man City to the Parc des Princes winless in three European encounters on familiar turf, the most recent of which came in last season’s semi-final first-leg defeat to the eventual runners-up.

Having passed the Stamford Bridge test with flying colours, Man City prepare to cross the channel with the wind in their sails after downing title rivals Chelsea 1-0 on Saturday lunchtime, with Gabriel Jesus’s deflected effort separating the sides on the day.

The Citizens are certainly demonstrating their title credentials despite a couple of shaky results early in the season, but they needed no second invitation to stamp their authority on RB Leipzig in their Champions League opener, scoring six of the nine goals on the night against Jesse Marsch’s men.

As a result, City have already stormed to the top of the rankings in Group A and will endeavour to hold that place throughout the autumn and winter periods, but Guardiola is sure to have one eye on the impending trip to Liverpool in the Premier League.

However, with six wins from their last seven in all competitions – scoring a whopping 24 goals in that time, only two of which have come away from home – City will feel confident about lightning striking twice in Paris, and they are unbeaten in their last 10 Champions League games on the road.

Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez propelled City to a 2-1 win at the Parc des Princes in last season’s semi-finals before a 2-0 home win at the Etihad, so Pochettino’s side need no extra motivation to come up trumps in Paris and blow Group A wide open.

Paris Saint-Germain Champions League form:
D
Paris Saint-Germain form (all competitions):
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Manchester City Champions League form:
W
Manchester City form (all competitions):
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We say: Paris Saint-Germain 1-2 Manchester City
PSG’s perfect record in Ligue 1 does not exactly tell the full story given some of their under-par performances, while the potential loss of Messi and definite absence of Di Maria will certainly be felt in a clash of this magnitude.

Having had recent experience prevailing in battles with their French counterparts, Man City ought to feel confident about their chances of repeating the trick at the Parc des Princes, and we can see them doing just that by the narrowest of margins.

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