There’s intrigue written all over this Champions League semi-final first leg between Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City. Not only did it turn out PSG are the principled bunch when it came to the push and pull of the European Super League, things ought to be pretty tasty on the pitch too.
Where and when: Parc des Princes – 28 April, kick-off 20:00
Where you can see Paris Saint-Germain vs. Manchester City: BT Sport
Last time: City beat PSG over two legs in their only previous Champions League meeting, with Kevin De Bruyne netting the only goal for the Blues in a 1-0 second-leg victory at the quarter-final stage in 2016.
Paris Saint-Germain v Manchester City Predictions and Preview
This was already a huge game between two nouveau riche European heavyweights, but the events of the last week or so have added a lot more spice to this Champions League semi-final. It’s purportedly principled versus seemingly shameless, Qatar versus Abu Dhabi, Ligue 1 versus the Premier League, and Paris Saint-Germain versus Manchester City.
Their 2016 meeting in the quarter-finals was a close affair, with a 2-2 draw at the Parc des Princes setting up City’s narrow victory back in Manchester. Given the levels of talent both of these clubs possess, this one could also be a very tight encounter.
Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, Mauro Icardi, Angel Di Maria turning out for the hosts. De Bruyne may be a slight fitness worry for City, but the visitors can still call on the likes of Raheem Sterling, Ilkay Gundogan, Bernardo Silva and Riyad Mahrez.
This could also be a huge moment in Phil Foden’s burgeoning career, although the City youngster has parted ways with his social media team after they appeared to win up Mbappe in the wake of their quarter-final victory over Borussia Dortmund. That isn’t usually the smartest thing to do.
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Over 3.5 goals
Mbappe to score first
The attacking options for both sides are outstanding, which means the outcome of this game could come down to which team puts in the stronger defensive performance. PSG were brilliant at the back in their quarter-final against Bayern Munich, with Mauricio Pochettino delightful with what was at times bodies-on-the-line stuff in the second leg.
That was something of a coming-of-age moment for Paris Saint-Germain, who gained a measure of revenge over Munich for last season’s defeat in the final. That won’t be complete unless they lift the trophy this year though, and they look more capable than ever of doing so.
Even so, it’s the away team who start as the betting favourites in these Paris Saint-Germain v Manchester City predictions. Pep Guardiola’s side are 27/20 for the win, while you can back Les Rouge et Bleu at 19/10. The draw after 90 minutes is priced at 27/10 with William Hill, setting up the second leg of this tie nicely.
It’s a huge occasion for both of these clubs, with City coming into this game on the back of Sunday’s EFL Cup final clash with Tottenham. Both teams are favourites for their domestic league titles, but it’s the Champions League the two sets of owners are more interested in than anything. Even more than money? Who knows.
One to watch for Paris Saint-Germain: Kylian Mbappe is bearing down on his best ever scoring season, passing the 35-goal mark the other weekend. The French flyer is the 4/1 favourite to break the deadlock in these PSG v Man City predictions.
One to watch for Manchester City: Phil Foden has been in superb form of late, rising to prominence both at home and abroad. The 20-year-old has scored three times in 10 Champions League appearances so far this term, and is 15/2 to open the scoring here.
Long shot: There isn’t much separating these teams, while the attacking talent on show could lead to a high-scoring game. A repeat of the 2-2 draw the last time they met in Paris is 21/2 in these PSG v Man City tips, rising to 59/1 with Mbappe scoring first.