Can Paris Saint-Germain Go On a Deep Run in the Champions League?

Paris Saint-Germain now knows their UEFA Champions League round of 16 opponents, and that clarity must be used for the Ligue 1 giants to fine-tune after what has been a successful, if not always convincing, start to the season. Regardless of some disappointing results and wasteful performances, Luis Enrique’s side is where the club would have expected to be in December: top of the French topflight and into the knockout phase of the UCL.

Admittedly, the top spot would have been PSG’s preference in Group F, but Les Parisiens are fortunate to be in the knockout stage at all, given how the final round of games played out in high-octane fashion, so they can be grateful that they were not further punished for not being more clinical in front of goal. Funnily enough, as fate would have it, Champions League round of 16 opponents Real Sociedad are enjoying a good season so far and have won plaudits for their European showings, but that does not alter the fact that most unseeded clubs would have been hoping to land them from the seeded pot.

Read the full article at PSG Talk Extra Time on Substack.


PSG were the ones picked out of the hat, and a trip to San Sebastian now awaits in what promises to be an intriguing matchup but one that the French champions can definitely win and also one that still feels like a top seed vs. bottom seed clash with the roles reversed. Make no mistake about it: PSG cannot and must not underestimate a very good Sociedad side that plays some of La Liga’s most enterprising soccer, but there is equally no way that they would have rather faced a Manchester City, Real Madrid, or Bayern Munich at this early stage.

If PSG stays focused and applies themselves correctly, they should logically be able to earn safe passage to the UCL quarterfinals for the first time since 2021 with a new-look squad and a different style of play to previous iterations, which have fallen away. The five-point Ligue 1 lead owes much to both OGC Nice and AS Monaco, having suffered unexpected losses over the weekend, while PSG almost stretched that advantage to seven points only to be denied late on by Lille OSC.

Certain aspects need major work, such as the defense, but there is little doubt that Luis Enrique would have signed up for this position at the current juncture of the season when he first took the Parc des Princes hot seat back in the summer. Now, there are nearly two full months to prepare for the start of the business end of the campaign, which starts with the Trophee des Champions in early January, continues with entry into the Coupe de France against minnows Revel, and then really arrives with the first leg against Sociedad in mid-February.

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Key to all of this will be how PSG tackles their numerous issues, and much of it focuses on the defense with major questions over the strength of the current back line but also concerns over depth in certain areas such as left back as well as the returns of Presnel Kimpembe and Nuno Mendes. Much of that can and will be answered by how PSG approaches the winter transfer window with transfer guru and sporting advisor seemingly preparing for some significant moves out of the Portuguese-speaking market of Brazil.

Read the full article at PSG Talk Extra Time on Substack.

Tags Champions League Luis Enrique Nuno Mendes Presnel Kimpembe Real Sociedad
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