Champions League betting: Back PSG to Gain 1st leg Advantage Against Manchester CityPublished April 5, 2016
It’s the battle of the nouveau riche at the Parc des Princes. Having accounted for Chelsea in the Last 16, Paris Saint-Germain are looking to add a second English scalp in the Champions League.
It certainly looks encouraging for PSG, with Manchester City travelling to the French capital with a number of issues on and off the pitch. After starting the season at a blistering pace, domestic form has been a cause for concern ever since and the announcement that Manuel Pellegrini would be leaving in the summer to be replaced by Pep Guardiola only seems to have accentuated the decline.
Injuries have also taken their toll, with Vincent Kompany; Raheem Sterling; Joe Hart; Kevin De Bruyne; Fabian Delph; Samir Nasri; Yaya Toure and Nicolas Otamendi all either out, doubts or just returning to action.
PSG officially wrapped up the French title a few weeks back, but its destination was never really in serious doubt. The lack of any meaningful domestic challenger can lead to a lack of focus that is sometimes difficult to regain when really necessary and they’ve certainly not been at their most dominant of late (the 9-0 win at Troyes notwithstanding). They went into their weekend match at home to Nice with a 22-point lead so their focus can now be concentrated on the Champions League.
City have no such luxury, with their priority over the remainder of the current campaign being to secure a top four finish to ensure Champions League football next term. It seems ludicrous that a club of City’s wealth isn’t already assured of a top four finish, but the fact that they have won just three of their last 11 games in all competitions explains their position. They won 4-0 at Bournemouth on Saturday though, coinciding with the return of De Bruyne.
Lauent Blanc also has injury concerns of his own, with Javier Pastore, Marco Verratti and Layvin Kurzawa all doubts to varying degrees.
It’s difficult to have any great faith in City in Paris. Defensively they look suspect and the French champions have more than enough quality to ensure they travel to Manchester holding some sort of advantage.