Champions League: dream poster at the Parc des Princes between PSG and AC Milan

Paris SG is already playing for its European future in the double confrontation against the prestigious AC Milan which begins Wednesday at the Parc des Princes (9 p.m.), in a Champions League group where now each misstep promises to be fatal. The Parisians made a first mistake by suffering the law of a euphoric Newcastle at home on October 4 (4-1), after an ideal start against Borussia Dortmund (2-0) on the first day.

PSG embedded in a “group of death”

Don’t panic for the moment since they are second with three points, behind Newcastle (four) and ahead of AC Milan (two) and Dortmund (one). But the “group of death” keeps its promises since after a start to the season, each of its teams is in good shape – even Dortmund with five victories in a row in the Bundesliga – and is applying for one of the two qualifying places for the round of 16.

Certainly, AC Milan stumbled at San Siro against Juventus Turin on Sunday (1-0). But the Rossoneri are second in Serie A, a small point behind Inter Milan, a rival against whom they lost their only other match of the season. On Wednesday, French internationals Olivier Giroud and Théo Hernandez – who will reunite with his Parisian brother Lucas Hernandez – arrive in Paris with the intention of taking at least one point, after their mixed start: two 0-0 draws against Newcastle and Dortmund. And they will try to impress the Parisians in their legendary San Siro stadium during the revenge which follows, on November 7.

“It almost feels like knockout matches,” says Luis Enrique

The double confrontation is “a turning point” in this “group of death”, according to Parisian coach Luis Enrique: “It almost looks like direct elimination matches, we won’t know until the last day who will qualify, These are really two vital matches, which will determine the final days.” For PSG goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, however, “we must not make the mistake of thinking about this double confrontation”. “These are two very complicated matches, I don’t know if they will be decisive but very important that’s for sure, they’re a great team, they’re used to playing in the Champions League,” he said. he adds.

On the Milan side, coach Stefano Pioli regretted Tuesday: “Unfortunately we were not able to win a match, this double confrontation against PSG will be very important, I hope it will not be decisive (to qualify), but we will have to go until the last match to find out.” Milan’s French striker Olivier Giroud, for his part, hoped that his team would score this time, after remaining silent during their first two Champions League matches: “”We must use this frustration in these matches to correct, and be more aggressive and killer in the box.”

Kylian Mbappé regained his feelings during the break

The Milanese seem to have reconnected with their prestigious history (seven Champions League titles), with a semi-final in this competition last season, a year in which the club made a profit for the first time in 17 years (6 .1 million euros). AC Milan also has history on its side when it comes to direct confrontations, since apart from two draws in 2001, it eliminated PSG in the semi-finals of the 1994-1995 C1 (2-0 and 1-0) . A memory all the more poignant for the capital club as its opponent had attracted its best player George Weah in the following transfer window.

For this 2023 edition, PSG still enjoys the status of favorite, led by Kylian Mbappé who has recently regained his sensations with three goals in France’s two matches during the break, and a goal and an assist against Strasbourg last Saturday (3-0). This Ligue 1 match also reassured Luis Enrique about the depth of his bench, with the convincing performances of his Spanish compatriots Fabian Ruiz and Carlos Soler, both scorers at the Parc des Princes.

On Wednesday evening, the coach should field a typical team form, namely the one that won against Dortmund and Rennes (3-1), with three midfielder profiles including Vitinha. The idea of ​​starting four attackers – Mbappé, Kolo Muani, Ramos and Dembélé – had turned into a fiasco at Newcastle. But only Luis Enrique knows precisely whether it will be a 4-3-3, a 4-4-2 or a 4-2-4, he who likes to blur the lines and make observers speculate.

Source link -78