Now that we know that fans will not be allowed inside the Parc des Princes for Paris Saint-Germain’s UEFA Champions League match against Borussia Dortmund, we can turn our attention to another pressing concern, the starting lineup.
In the first leg against Dortmund, manager Thomas Tuchel opted for a conservative 3-4-3 lineup that lacked a natural striker. Marco Verratti and Thomas Meunier also started in that fixture but are not available for the rematch as they’re both suspended due to yellow card accumulation.
For most of the season, PSG has played in a 4-4-2 formation with the Fantastic Four of Angel Di Maria, Mauro Icardi, Kylian Mbappé, and Neymar Jr. leading the attack. The question ahead of the match on Wednesday is will we see a repeat of the first leg or something a bit more positive?
According to RMC Sport, the likely starting lineup to face Dortmund in the most important game of the season will feature several changes and a return to the 4-4-2 formation:
Goalkeeper: Keylor Navas
Defenders: Thilo Kehrer, Thiago Silva, Presnel Kimpembe, Layvin Kurzawa
Midfielders: Marquinhos, Idrissa Gueye
Forwards: Angel Di Maria, Edinson Cavani, Kylian Mbappé, Neymar Jr.
PSG will need Keylor Navas to continue his outstanding form this season. Against Dortmund’s potent attack, he will need to make several game-changing saves to keep his squad in the tie.
On defense, Thilo Kehrer covers at right-back for the suspended Meunier. Thiago Silva returns from injury just in time to line up next to Presnel Kimpembe at center-back and Layvin Kurzawa starts at left-back over Juan Bernat.
In the midfield, Marquinhos and Idrissa Gueye are expected to be the preferred duo. Verratti had an outstanding game in the first match and his absence will be felt. However, if Gueye can recapture his early-season form, this partnership might be enough to get the job done.
In attack, Tuchel is expected to go with a slightly different Fantastic Four. Cavani has been the preferred striker over Icardi in recent weeks and it’s El Matador who should get the start against Dortmund. While his finishing in front of goal hasn’t been great, Cavani excels at tracking back, which will be vital against Lucien Favre’s high-flying side.
This lineup, if accurate, is fine and I think PSG can win with it. The only change I would make would be Icardi over Cavani but I can see what Tuchel is thinking here.
The mentality of whoever starts should be to get an early goal. Having already lost 2-1 to Dortmund, PSG will need to apply the pressure early and often while remaining solid at the back. It’s a difficult task but that’s what’s required if the team hopes to advance to the quarter-finals of the tournament.
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