Six and five days after both PSG and Leipzig sealed their respective slots in the Champions League Semifinals, they will go head to head tonight for a slot in the 2020 Lisbon Final. Both teams will be looking forward to this historical moment since neither side has ever played in a UCL Final before.
PSG will be playing a Champions League Semifinal for the second time in their history having lost their first-ever to Milan in 1995. The team from Paris overcame Atalanta in a Quarterfinal bowl with a 2-1 win, a game in which they trailed for the most part of it only to be salvaged by late goals from Marquinhos and Chopou-Moting.
PSG will look to draw more inspiration from the performance of their forward Neymar. Having come off the bench in the Quarterfinal, Kylian Mbappe is also expected to start this tie in order to give the Paris side more attacking prowess. In addition to Veratti and Kurzawa, shot-stopper Kyler Navas is out of this tie.
Talking in a pre-match presser, PSG manager Thomas Tuchel said, “Nagelsmann was my player only for a season and he was injured a lot. He was always asking questions of the coaches – back then it was maybe a bit early to know he would become a coach. He’s a stickler for details, you see his love for tactics and details, prepping for a game.” He continued to applaud Leipzig that, “[Leipzig] press high, they are courageous, a young, fast team – like Atalanta were. We have our style, they have theirs.”
Founded in 2009, Leipzig, arguably Bundesliga’s most hated team by opponents, who were not a top division side until 2016/17, have managed to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League for the first time in their history in a style which has been mered tactical brilliancy, not luck.
Who will Make the Champions League Final for the First time tonight?
The German side overcame Diego Simeone’s Atléti at the Quarterfinals in a game that shocked many. Leipzig will look at building onto this to upset the Parisians in another clash where they come into as underdogs. Leipzig doesn’t have any injury threats in their squad that traveled to Lisbon.
About this fixture, the 33-year-old Julian Nagelsmann said, “We have to avoid losing the ball because PSG is very strong on the counter-attack, but we’ll try to take the game by the scruff of the neck.” On how he’ll try to stop the skillful duo further added, “You can’t foresee what Neymar and Mbappe could do, they’re top players. We need to defend them as a team.”
Both teams have almost identical philosophies of play which is to attack your opponents, however, tonight it will all come down to who will be clinical in front of goal. PSG can not afford to be as wasteful as they were against Atalanta, Icardi needs to improve on his off-ball movement to allow Neymar and Mbappe to feed him and with Angel Di Maria returning tonight, PSG has enough firepower upfront to cause a headache for Upamecano, Halstenberg, Tasende, and Klostermann
While PSG forwards could prove to be a handful for Leipzig’s defense, PSG’s defense also has to worry about its own defense because of the interchanging runs by Olmo, Sabitzer, and Poulsen will also give the likes of Silva, Marquinhos a headache.
One thing that we are certain about today’s game is that both teams are desperate to succeed and given it would be the first time that they appear at the Champions League final, we expect free attacking football. For Leipzig, they would become one of the first teams to make finals in the shortest time of existence while for PSG, it is about the big money signings proving that they can be able to reach the final and go all the way to win it.
Author: Katende Basajjabaka
Katende writes about sports and occasionally technology.