Liverpool vs Paris Saint-Germain
Liverpool and PSG have warmed up well in preparation for Europe’s top competition. Now, it’s time for them to meet and take things up a notch.
Both teams are unbeaten in their respective domestic leagues, winning five straight each to start the season. The Reds, in fact, are coming off a big win over Premier League title rivals Tottenham Hotspur, while the Parisiens recently showed their French superiority in a 4-0 drubbing of Saint-Etienne.
Jurgen Klopp’s men have some unfinished business in the competition and will surely eye for another finals berth; however, they know they cannot think too far ahead, especially with PSG hoarding talent in recent years in hopes of breaking their Champions League drought.
Battle of the German managers
There are plenty of storylines to watch out for in this game at Anfield, but the most interesting is perhaps the meeting of the two German managers, Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel, who both have a Borussia Dortmund link.
Klopp managed BVB from 2008 to 2015 and guided the club to two Bundesliga titles before taking the job at Liverpool. Tuchel, on the other hand, took over Dortmund from Klopp and was somewhat successful, helping the German club finish in the top three of the Bundesliga in his two seasons.
Tuchel had a year out of management before replacing Unai Emery at the French capital over the summer.
Both managers are currently on a roll with their teams. Klopp’s charges have won five straight, the latest against a Tottenham team that thrashed them with four goals at Wembley last season. Liverpool are currently second in the Premier League, only behind Chelsea on goal difference.
Meanwhile, Tuchel’s side is on a tear offensively, scoring 21 goals in a six-game winning streak in all competitions. As expected, they are on top of Ligue 1 and are well ahead of the chasing pack with a five-point lead over LOSC and Toulouse.
Mo Salah vs Neymar
Two of the brightest 26-year-old strikers, Mo Salah and Neymar, are set to face for the first time in this UCL match. And both stars have a point to prove—and ghosts to banish—after picking up injuries last year.
Salah, who won the Premier League Golden Boot in 2017/18, was part of the swashbuckling Reds frontline (with Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane) that finished as the highest-scoring trio in a single Champions League campaign. He tallied 10 goals and four assists in the tournament, but his supposed dream final with Liverpool became a nightmare when Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos deliberately injured him.
Meanwhile, Neymar scored six goals in his first European campaign with PSG. Nonetheless, his season was cut short when he sustained a metatarsal injury on February that ruled him out for the rest of the year, including the second leg of their Round of 16 clash with Los Blancos.
This match will be Salah and Neymar’s first match in the tournament after their injuries, and expectations are high that they will impress when they step on the pitch once again.
Champions League Draw: Big Matches Await Football Fans
Injury woes and other absences
Unfortunately for Liverpool, they were dealt an early blow with the possible absence of Firmino. The 26-year-old Liverpool forward suffered a nasty eye injury against Tottenham, and according to the latest Champions League 2018 news, it’s possible that he’ll miss the Anfield clash with PSG.
One silver lining for Liverpool, though, is the absences of players in the PSG camp. Gianluigi Buffon, who has been sharing goalkeeping duties with Alphonse Areola, is suspended due to the red card he received in his last Champions League game while with Juventus.
Italy international and PSG playmaker Marco Verratti is also suspended, while Dani Alves is still out due to injury.
The two teams have only faced each other twice, but that’s largely irrelevant now as the last time they played was in the 1997 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup semi-finals. For what it’s worth, they split their two meetings back then, with PSG winning 3-2 on aggregate.
Interestingly though, PSG have never won the European Cup or the Champions League. Their best result in the competition was a quarter-final appearance in 2016. They struggled to make it to the last eight in the past two seasons and ended up exiting in the Round of 16.
In contrast, Liverpool have won the European Cup four times and the Champions League once, albeit 13 years ago. As mentioned, however, they were runners-up last year.
|Liverpool vs Paris Saint-Germain||Liverpool 1X2 @ 2.21|
|September 19, 03:00 (GMT+8)|
Liverpool and PSG are among the best in Europe, and I expect them to go all-out not only for a win but also for pride.
The Champions League 2018 odds at us are tight between the two, and for a good reason. Liverpool have home-court advantage and it should be noted that they haven’t lost a home game since January 2018.
Furthermore, while Firmino is a doubt, they still have depth in all areas, with Mane, Salah, Xherdan Shaqiri and Naby Keita among their big-name attackers.
PSG, for their part, have the trio of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani. Neymar and Mbappe, particularly, are well-rested and should pose a threat to the Liverpool defence.
I think this will be a close encounter with only a one-goal lead, but I’m giving Liverpool the advantage due to their defence. They have only conceded two Premier League goals so far, while PSG have already allowed four in five Ligue 1 outings.
|A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR () BETS ARE WORTH:|
|= €20 (Highly confident)||= €10 (CONFIDENT)||= €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)|
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Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.