What an opportunity this Champions League semi-final serves up for RB Leipzig and Paris Saint-Germain. Neither club will surely ever have a better chance of reaching the final of this historic competition, with a place in the showpiece back at the Estadio da Luz next Sunday up for grabs.
Where and when: Estadio da Luz – 18 August, kick-off 20:00
Where you can see RB Leipzig vs. PSG: BT Sport
Last time: This will be the first competitive meeting between these clubs, although Leipzig did beat PSG 4-2 in a friendly six years ago.
RB Leipzig v PSG Predictions and Preview
Opportunity knocks in a big way for two football clubs looking to break into the European elite. Paris Saint-Germain have reached this stage of the Champions League for the first time since 1994, and are two games away from securing a historic quadruple. RB Leipzig, meanwhile, are only in Europe’s top competition for the second time in their short history.
It’s been some journey for Die Roten Bullen, who were only formed in 2009. They are in the Champions League knockout rounds for the first time this season, and reached the last four courtesy of a stunning 2-1 victory over Atletico Madrid in Thursday’s quarter-final.
Julian Nagelsmann’s side eased to a comfortable victory over last season’s finalists, Tottenham, in the last 16, seeing off the Premier League outfit 4-0 on aggregate. They may have finished 16 points behind champions Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga table and lost top scorer Timo Werner to Chelsea, but Leipzig are a dangerous proposition.
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PSG to win and BTTS
PSG to win 2-1
Mbappe to score first
PSG saw off another dangerous side in the quarters, producing a stunning late comeback to beat Atalanta 2-1 and keep their quest for the holy grail alive. The Parisians toiled for the best part of 90 minutes but the introduction of Kylian Mbappe from the bench turned the tie, with Marquinhos equalising in the 90th minute before Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting’s dramatic winner 149 seconds later.
Mbappe’s fitness after an ankle injury is likely to be crucial both for this game and PSG’s chances should they progress to the final, as Thomas Tuchel bids to win an unprecedented clean sweep of trophies for a French side. The German coach was staring down the barrel of the sack before his team’s late turnaround in the quarters, showing how quickly things can change.
PSG fans will hope for a slightly less eventful occasion here, with Les Rouge et Bleu the odds-on favourites to win this match. They are 8/11 to beat Leipzig on Tuesday night, while the Bundesliga side are available at 19/5. This single-leg tie will go to extra-time if the scores are level after 90 minutes, and that’s priced at 41/13. With penalties a possibility, PSG are 2/5 to qualify by any method, with Leipzig at 21/10 for the same bet.
One to watch for RB Leipzig: Following the departure of 34-goal Timo Werner, Yussuf Poulsen is set to lead the line for Die Bullen. He scored in Leipzig’s final two Bundesliga games of the season and was on target against PSG in that friendly back in 2014. Poulsen is 9/1 to break the deadlock on Tuesday.
One to watch for PSG: Neymar showed moments of class in PSG’s quarter-final victory, but it was Kylian Mbappe’s introduction that changed the game in favour of the Ligue 1 champions. The French forward is a direct menace who has 30 goals in 35 appearances this season, and he’s the 18/5 favourite to score first here.
Long shot: PSG have underperformed significantly in the Champions League since the Qatari takeover in 2011, failing to get past the quarter-finals before this year. They lost in the round of 16 in each of the last three years prior to this term, and Leipzig will feel they have a real chance of progressing against the French champions, as Atalanta nearly did. The Serie A side were so close to a 1-0 win, with Leipzig 15/1 to beat PSG by that score. With Poulsen getting the goal, those odds rise to 159/1.