Preview: Manchester City vs Paris Saint Germain
By Harry Newton
Raheem Sterling remains injured for another week or two.
Vincent Kompany is not 100% fit so will not feature.
Nicolas Otamendi is fit for the game.
Samir Nasri is not in the Champions League squad, as the squad list was submitted at a time when his injury was expected to still be an issue.
The boos are back in town
The anthem played before the game of any Champions League match is famous worldwide for bringing goosebumps to every excited football fan in Europe’s skin. It doesn’t matter who you are or what nationality you are—when that song comes on you try your hardest to sing along and reach every high note! Well, unless you’re Manchester City.
Every Champions League game this season Manchester City fans have boo’d the anthem in a protest to UEFA. When quizzed about it at his pre-match press conference, Manuel Pellegrini seemed to have no problem with the booing. The Chilean suggested that the booing has been lucky, as City have had much more success in the Champions League this season since they’ve taken up the habit.
“It depends if you’re superstitious,” he said with a large grin. Pellegrini believes tomorrow will be a sell-out, despite the backlash from City fans about the ticket prices to the game, which range from £40 to £60. Although some even refused to purchase tickets at such a high price, there was, in fact, a notable surge in sales following the great result in the first leg of this clash.
Quote of the Presser: “Maybe there’s booing at the beginning, but after that they support our team. So I have no complaints or no doubts about the fans!”
Zlatan Ibrahimovic vs Eliaquim Mangala
Despite a few shaky performances this season Mangala played very well in the first leg of this quarter final tie, while Ibrahimović only managed to score once Fernando had made an error at the back. The defender’s strength and positional play was superb and kept improving as the game went on, keeping the super Swede at bay.
This time City will need him more than ever, as Ibrahimović loves big games and will be all over the Frenchman. With Vincent Kompany not quite being fit enough for the game, it will be the familiar face of Nicholas Otamendi alongside Mangala, which seemed to work so well in Paris.
Expect a few heavy challenges and arms all over the place, as both these players like to showcase their strength and won’t like to be out-muscled by the other. Most defenders in the world would struggle up against Ligue 1’s top goal scorer, so Mangala will need every ounce of concentration… and a bit of luck.
The First Leg
PSG 2-2 Manchester City
It was a Fernando error that took the headlines, as Zlatan so easily retrieved the ball from him in the penalty area to score PSG’s first goal—but City displayed a very professional performance, bagging two away goals via Kevin de Bruyne and Fernandinho. The game hangs in the balance. A longer match report is available in the Manchester City vs WBS preview.
Attack over Defence
Pellegrini said that if his team were to play tomorrow in hope of a 0-0 draw they would lose. The Chilean was sure to make it very clear that City will be playing for goals and for the win, as this is how he believes the team play best.
City will certainly have to concentrate hard at the back to keep Zlatan Ibrahimović and Ángel Di María out but, so long as they keep the PSG defense busy up the other end, there’s nothing Zlatan and Angel can do. One thing is for certain though—if City play like Pellegrini is saying they will, it’ll be an exciting attacking game to watch!
Manchester City 1-1 PSG
It’ll be tight though.