MX23RW : Monday, December 10 18:07:27
Nov 28, 2018 at 8pm UK at ​Parc des Princes
Attendance: 46,880
PSGParis Saint-Germain
2-1
Liverpool
Bernat (13'), Neymar (37')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Milner (45' pen.)

Preview: Paris Saint-Germain vs. Liverpool - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's crucial Champions League Group C showdown between PSG and Liverpool, including predictions, team news and head-to-head records.

Just one point separates the top three teams in Champions League Group C heading into matchday five, meaning that it is all to play for when Paris Saint-Germain host Liverpool at the Parc des Princes.

Wednesday's match could be make or break for both teams, with Liverpool potentially sealing their place in the last 16 with a win while defeat for PSG could see them eliminated from the competition with a game to spare.


PSG

Neymar looks dejected after the final whistle during the Champions League group game between Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain on September 18, 2018© Reuters

It seems inconceivable that a team enjoying such unprecedented domestic dominance could be potentially just 90 minutes away from Champions League elimination in the group stages, but that is the position PSG find themselves in ahead of Wednesday match.

Thomas Tuchel's side have swept all before them in Ligue 1 so far this season, making the best ever start to a season in the history of Europe's top five leagues by winning all of their opening 14 games.

It is a ludicrous record which leaves PSG a whopping 15 points clear at the top of the table after only 14 games, as well as predictably boasting the best attacking and defensive records in the division by some distance.

An easy assumption to make would be that the French league lacks quality, particularly considering the disparity between PSG's fortunes domestically and in Europe so far, but it should also be remembered that Lyon have beaten Manchester City - the Premier League's dominant force - already this season too.

Nothing can be taken away from PSG's domestic success, then, but the club has been built towards Champions League glory and Tuchel faces the strange scenario of failing in his primary goal before the end of November despite winning 14 from 14 in the league.

That winning habit has not transferred into Europe so far this term, with their only victory coming against Red Star Belgrade - albeit in style - and back-to-back draws against Napoli in their last two Champions League outings leaves them as the most vulnerable of Group C's three giants.

While Napoli and Liverpool could both progress on Wednesday night, for PSG it is a must-not-lose match as defeat coupled with a Napoli win at home to Red Star would consign them to Europa League football at best after the New Year.

PSG - and Liverpool for that matter - are not the type of team to approach games with a 'must-not-lose' mentality, though, and they will go into this match as favourites having won 15 and lost none of their last 20 home Champions League group games. Indeed, looking even further back the French giants have only lost two of their last 49 European games in front of their own fans.

However, their ambitions of becoming a European powerhouse still seem some way off; PSG have only won one of their last seven Champions League games and are yet to make it past the quarter-finals since the Qatari investment arrived.

Considering the Champions League is the competition by which they measure themselves, Wednesday's match is arguably already their most important of the season and defeat could leave a dark cloud hanging over the team regardless of how emphatic their dominance on the domestic front has been.

Recent Champions League form: LWDD
Recent form (all competitions): DWWDWW


Liverpool

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp pictured on November 6, 2018© Reuters

While Liverpool come into this match in a slightly more enviable position than their hosts, the Reds certainly appear to have made things more complicated for themselves than they needed to be.

Red Star Belgrade were expected to be the whipping boys of Group C, but Liverpool could have few complaints as they slumped to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of the Champions League group stage debutants on matchday four.

Victory in that match would have left Jurgen Klopp's side three points clear and only needing a draw in Paris to guarantee their place in the last 16, whereas the defeat leaves them second in the group and potentially needing four points from their final two games against PSG and Napoli.

Liverpool could still clinch a spot in the knockout rounds with a game to spare should they beat PSG and Red Star fail to beat Napoli, but their end of that bargain is a huge ask against a side that has won nine of their 10 home matches this season, scoring 35 goals in the process.

As if that wasn't a daunting enough record, Liverpool themselves have now lost their last three European away games and have won only five of their last 21 - a run which also includes eight defeats.

Indeed, last season's runners-up are yet to even score on the road in this season's competition, and one of the big questions for Klopp is whether to try to exploit the attacking nature of PSG as they did in the reverse fixture at Anfield, or deploy more reserved tactics knowing that a draw would not be the worst result.

Defeat in Paris would likely leave Liverpool needing to beat Napoli by more than one goal at Anfield on matchday six, meaning that things would still be in their own hands to a certain extent, but anything they can get at the Parc des Princes would help to repair some of the damage done by the loss to Red Star.

On the domestic front Liverpool continue to push champions Manchester City in the Premier League, with Saturday's 3-0 win over Watford at Vicarage Road extending their unbeaten start to 13 matches.

The scoreline may have flattered the Reds a little, but they are unlikely to need to be as patient on Wednesday night with PSG sure to attack them and subsequently leave more space at the back.

It remains to be seen whether the visitors try to fight fire with fire - a technique which brought them success in this type of fixture en route to the final last season - but Wednesday's match is sure to be a crucial game for Liverpool in what is a huge week with the Merseyside derby to come on Sunday too.

Recent Champions League form: WLWL
Recent form (all competitions): WWDLWW


Team News

Kylian Mbappe celebrates his late goal during the Champions League group game between Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain on September 18, 2018© Reuters

PSG's deadly duo of Kylian Mbappe and Neymar both missed the weekend win over Toulouse due to injuries sustained during the international break, but they are expected to return in time for this match.

Mbappe scored at Anfield and has 11 goals in just nine Ligue 1 appearances this season, while Neymar and Edinson Cavani have both also reached double figures across all competitions this term.

PSG were able to hand Dani Alves his first outing of the season at the weekend while Layvin Kurzawa also made the matchday squad, but neither is likely to start this match as Tuchel looks to ease them back in after lengthy absences.

PSG have favoured a 3-4-3 formation of late which could see Angel Di Maria play either in the middle or as a makeshift left wing-back, while in goal Tuchel must again decide between Gianluigi Buffon and Alphonse Areola.

Liverpool, meanwhile, have been boosted by the news that Sadio Mane is fit to start having overcome an illness to train on Tuesday.

Joe Gomez is also expected to return after missing the Watford win with a slight ankle injury, which is likely to see Dejan Lovren drop out of the starting XI.

Jordan Henderson was sent off at the weekend but his ban only applies to domestic matches, and the captain could be joined in midfield by James Milner should Klopp revert to a 4-3-3 formation.

PSG possible starting lineup:
Buffon; Marquinhos, Silva, Kimpembe; Meunier, Verratti, Di Maria, Bernat; Mbappe, Cavani, Neymar

Liverpool possible starting lineup:
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Milner, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane


Head To Head

This will be just the fourth meeting between these two sides, with Liverpool running out 3-2 victors in the reverse fixture at Anfield in September courtesy of Roberto Firmino's late winner.

The only other time they have faced off came in the 1996-97 Cup Winners' Cup semi-finals, when PSG ran out 3-2 winners on aggregate after winning the first leg 3-0 in Paris and then surviving a scare at Anfield.

PSG are winless in their last five games against English opposition, though, whereas Liverpool have only been beaten once on their last seven visits to France.


Sports Mole Logo

We say: PSG 2-2 Liverpool

This match could go one of two ways - either a tight affair due to there being so much on the line or another open, attacking game. It is not in the nature of either side to hold back, so we're predicting the latter and an entertaining score draw at the Parc des Princes.


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Who will win Wednesday's Champions League clash between PSG and Liverpool?

PSG
Draw
Liverpool
PSG
35.5%
Draw
18.8%
Liverpool
45.7%
Kylian Mbappe celebrates his late goal during the Champions League group game between Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain on September 18, 2018
Read Next:
PSG team news: Predicted XI vs. Liverpool
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool1613303462842
2Manchester CityMan City1613214593641
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs16120430161436
4Chelsea16104233132034
5Arsenal16104235201534
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd167542826226
7Everton156542117423
8Bournemouth167272526-123
9Leicester CityLeicester166462120122
10Wolverhampton WanderersWolves166461719-222
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham166372325-221
12Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton166371922-321
13Watford156271821-320
14Cardiff CityCardiff1642101530-1514
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle163491322-913
16Crystal Palace1633101323-1012
17Burnley1633101532-1712
18Huddersfield TownHuddersfield1624101027-1710
19Southampton161691330-179
20Fulham1623111640-249

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