Battle of the Billionaires
England’s sole remaining representatives in the Champions League take to the field this evening with Manchester City travelling to France to take on Paris St-Germain. The French side have already wrapped up their League title this season and are now purely focussed on the Champions League, whereas the Citizens are in a real battle for 4th place in the Premier League and qualification for next season’s competition. Both sides are owned by wealthy conglomerates based out of Gulf States.
Since being taken over by their Abu Dhabi owners in 2008, City have won a total of 5 trophies, including 2 League titles. This isn’t a bad return, although success in the Champions League has proved rather difficult. This is the first time that they’ve reached the quarter-final stage and they are now in unchartered waters. In contrast, PSG have reached the quarter finals for the last 3 seasons, but are still yet to progress further. City’s form against high-quality domestic opposition this season has been dreadful, as has their away form. They have struggled to win major games and are still without back-to-back victories in the league since October. Tonight provides a significant opportunity to announce themselves on the European stage. They will have to do it however with a substantial injury list. Joe Hart and Vincent Kompany are both struggling with calf problems, whilst Yaya Touré is definitely out of tonight’s game with a knee injury. Raheem Sterling is also unavailable after picking up a groin strain in the Manchester derby. On the bright side, Kevin De Bruyne and Samir Nasri made their returns from injury at the weekend and are both fit to travel to Paris.
PSG have cruised through the season so far, with many believing that they hadn’t been tested until playing Chelsea in the last 16 stage of this tournament. They head into tonight’s fixture with a league title secured and a 4-1 victory at the weekend. Never one to shy away from any attention, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been in devastating form this season with 38 goals in 41 games; however he’s also instrumental in setting them up for others and offering chances in attack. Marco Verratti and Javier Pastore were unfit for their win over Nice at the weekend and both might still be unavailable for selection this evening. Angel Di Maria also missed the game, but could be in line to return which will give the Parisians a boost after being in superb form this season.
Heads its City, Tails its PSG?
You could spin a coin to guess which will win! These two sides have only faced each other once before, in a goalless draw in the UEFA Cup in 2008/09. PSG are considered favourites for tonight with NetBet Sport pricing them at 20/29 to win whilst City are outsiders at 17/4. In a two-legged tie with the second leg in Manchester, City will be hoping for an away goal and they are priced at 7/4 to score first this evening.