Manchester City welcome PSG to the Etihad for the second leg of their semi-final showdown on Tuesday at 8pm (UK time) aiming to reach their first-ever Champions League final.
Pep Guardiola’s men secured a 2-1 lead in the first leg after falling behind in the opening 45 minutes, bagging two vital away goals in the process through Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez to cancel out Marquinhos’ opener. A red card for Idrissa Gueye compounded the misery for Mauricio Pochettino, who will now be returning to English soil looking to make it successive European finals for PSG.
Where to live stream Man City vs PSG:
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Scoreline prediction: Man City 1-1 PSG
Man City have been developing at a rapid pace under Guardiola, and this season they have proven a far more pragmatic side, able to win games in a controlled manner rather than through sheer attacking warfare. Such an approach could work wonders to pacify the world-class threat of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, and while the duo proved against Bayern Munich that they can breach even the most stubborn of defences, City looked good value for their lead at the Parc des Princes and were seldom troubled by the Parisian juggernaut. In fact, Mbappe failed to attempt a single shot in the first leg against City, the first time he’s ever started a Champions League match and failed to do so.
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Man City vs PSG build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
It’s been business as usual for City domestically, already securing the League Cup for a fourth consecutive season to move level with Liverpool as the most successful club in the competition’s history (eight wins), while the Premier League title is all but a foregone conclusion, meaning absolute focus is now on Europe.
For PSG, it’s not been business as usual domestically. With just three games remaining Lille are the current pace-setters in Ligue 1, and while just a point separates the two clubs at the summit, it’s unfamiliar territory for the Parisian behemoth, who must now recalibrate their gaze on European matters.
- Man City (vs Crystal Palace): Ederson; Cancelo, Ake, Laporte, Mendy; Fernandinho, Rodri, Torres, Sterling; Aguero, Jesus.
- PSG (vs Lens): Navas; Dagba, Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Diallo; Pereira, Gueye*, Sarabia, Neymar, Draxler; Icardi.
Man City have a clean bill of health hosting last season’s runners-up, with John Stones available for selection having missed the last two domestic games through suspension. Guardiola heavily rotated his side for the Palace triumph and will be expected to recall the likes of De Bruyne, Phil Foden, Ilkay Gundogan, Mahrez and Ruben Dias.
PSG meanwhile will be without the suspended Gueye, who was sent off in the first leg, while Juan Bernat remains a long-term absentee. There are once again concerns over Mbappe’s fitness, with the Frenchman currently nursing a calf injury, and he was kept on ice over the weekend, with Pochettino expressing his ‘optimism’ that his star pupil will make the Etihad journey.
“I am optimistic, I still am,” Pochettino said post-Lens. “We think he will be there. We will make a decision before the match but I am optimistic.”
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Man City vs PSG predicted XIs:
It’s unlikely Guardiola will rotate too much, if at all, for this contest. Despite being a goal down at half time, City were in an authoritative manner and controlled large swathes of the contest, restricting Neymar and Mbappe going forward, particularly the latter in the second half who, as mentioned, failed to register a single shot. Having shuffled the pack so excessively at Selhurst Park, it’s clear what Guardiola’s thought process was in keeping key names rested.
So, it will likely be a return to a 4-3-3 (false nine) with De Bruyne moonlighting as a quasi centre-forward, dropping deep and linking play, while trying to create gaps for inverted wingers Foden and Mahrez to exploit the half space. The midfield trident of Gundogan, Rodri and Bernardo Silva worked wonders to retain possession and aid in attacking transitions, while the back four of Kyle Walker, Stones, Dias and Joao Cancelo linked harmoniously.
With Pochettino talking of his ‘optimism’ that Mbappe will be able to travel, it’s likely the French speedster was just kept on ice as a precaution at the weekend and could therefore lead the line on Tuesday, joining an attack alongside the likes of Neymar, Marco Verratti and Angel Di Maria. With Gueye unavailable for selection, Ander Herrera could come in to deputise alongside Leandro Paredes in a tenaciuos double pivot, while the back four is likely to remain unchanged.
2020/21 recent form:
- Man City: WWWWL
- PSG: WLWWW
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