Postades 12th Apr 2016
Manchester City welcome Paris St-Germain to the Etihad Stadium tonight in the Champions League Quarter Final Second Leg with the tie evenly poised at 2-2 following the first leg in Paris.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side are hoping to reach the semi-final stage for the first time in their history and with two vital away goals at the Parc Des Princes the English side appear favourites to progress.
City look set to be buoyed by the return to fitness of David Silva, who was left out of his side’s 2-1 win over West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League at the weekend. The Spaniard is a welcome return and will provide support behind Sergio Aguero alongside with Kevin De Bruyne and Yaya Toure in a 4-2-3-1 formation which will carry extra attacking prowess with a robust and commanding defensive midfield pairing sitting in behind.
Aguero will spearhead the attack and it will be interesting to see his battle against fellow South American, Thiago Silva. The Argentine has netted 16 goals in his last 19 starts in the Champions League and needs to be kept quiet if the Paris outfit want to progress.
Meanwhile, PSG are set to be without the suspended David Luiz and Blaise Matuidi with midfielder Marco Veratti still sidelined with a groin injury. The absence of Matudi and Veratti leaves a gaping hole in the middle of Laurent Blanc’s midfield with a loss of their attacking presence and guile which City will look to exploit.
PSG have only won one of their past seven away fixtures against English opposition in Europe and have been eliminated at the Quarter Final stage for the last three seasons which will give City fans some renewed optimism.
However, the Paris outfit are not short of firepower and have managed to score two or more goals in their previous five Champions League games, with City only managing to keep one clean sheet so far in this season’s tournament.
Manchester City’s defensive fears suffered another setback with the injury of captain Vincent Kompany who is ruled out with another calf injury. Eliaquim Mangala and Nicolas Otamendi will be the centre back pairing and will be responsible for keeping PSG star-man Zlatan Ibrahimovic quiet.
City’s Brazilian holding midfield pairing of Fernandinho and Fernando is another selection headache for Pellegrini. The pair have been out-of-sorts when they have played together in the Premier League but they have complimented each other well in the Champions League and have been Pellegrini’s preferred pairing in Europe and played well in the first leg in Paris.
Progression tonight for Manchester City tonight will keep hopes alive for a fairytale ending to Manuel Pellegrini’s reign. City have a battle on their hands to secure a top four finish for next season’s competition. A Champions League triumph may be the only way for City to secure Champions League football next year and leave Pep Guardiola with a team he can build upon amongst Europe’s elite once he joins from Bayern Munich in the summer.
Both sides have players capable of winning the tie, however both teams are missing key players and with the game so evenly poised it is a tie that is not to be missed.
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