Can the sky Blues progress into the semi-finals, creating even more history among Europe’s elite?
City set to face crunch clash
Manchester City could make history tomorrow evening, if they manage to beat Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain at the Ethiad, thus advancing to the semi-finals of this season’s Champions League competition. The second-leg is nicely poised at 2-2 on aggregate, but the sky Blues netted two away goals in Paris last Wednesday – which could prove pivotal.
PSG’s English experience could come in handy
Having comfortably dispatched of Guus Hiddink’s Chelsea side in the round-of-16, the Parisens will not be worried nor doubtful about the task that lies ahead. They’ve got a great crop of world-class players mixed with crucial big-game experience, which is invaluable at this stage of the competition.
You could argue it’s unfair to compare the Blues’ previous meetings with PSG when discussing this year’s two-legged affair, but despite their dramatic slump in domestic form, Chelsea are still one of the best sides in Europe – so that excuse won’t sit well with many neutrals. As much as people love to slate them, PSG might not have a lot of rivals fighting for Ligue 1 supremacy, but they’ve gradually strengthened year-by-year as a side eager to justify why they’re one of Europe’s elite.
Against Manchester City, you’d feel that any costly mistake that the sky Blues do make could be easily taken advantage of to devastating effect. But at the same time, PSG’s inconsistency at times is their worst enemy – so how will they fare this time around?
Manuel Pellegrini has already confirmed that captain Vincent Kompany is not in contention to feature, despite being involved in first-team training this morning. The Belgian centre-back was hoping to recover in time to feature, following his troublesome calf injuries, but the Citizens have decided it’s in their best interests to avoid aggravation for the skipper, despite the importance of the tie itself. Nicolas Otámendi (knock) and Eliaquim Mangala are expected to partner up as the hosts’ centre-back pairing, whilst David Silva – not risked at the weekend – should return to the starting XI.
As for Tuesday’s visitors, Laurent Blanc‘s side will have to adapt accordingly as they’ll miss both centre-back David Luiz and midfielder Blaise Matuidi – both picked up yellow cards in their home leg, and are consequently suspended for the fixture. Marco Verratti (groin) is a possibility to start for PSG, and will certainly be a small boost as both sides aim to reach the semi-final stage for the first time in their respective histories.