UEFA Champions League: Paris Saint-Germain vs. Manchester City Preview, Odds and Prediction - 05/04/2021

by Big Al Staff

The second leg of the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League begins on Tuesday, with Paris Saint-Germain traveling to the Etihad Stadium to face Manchester City on the CBS Sports Network at 3 PM ET.

Man City won the first leg last Wednesday in a 2-1 victory. PSG scored the opening goal from Marquinhos header 15 minutes into the match. Les Parisiens kept that lead through halftime before Kevin De Bruyne evened the score at the 64-minute mark. Riyad Mahrez scored the game-winner seven minutes later from a free-kick that snuck through a leaky PSG wall. A red card issued to PSG midfielder Idrissa Gueye moments later left manager Mauricio Pochettino’s side down to ten men. Gueye is suspended for this match. 

Manchester City followed up that victory with a 2-1 win at Crystal Palace on Saturday. Sergio Aguero and Ferran Torres made the score sheet for the Citizens. Manager Peg Guardiola’s side has won five of their last six matches across all competitions. 

The Citizens advanced to the semifinals of the Championship League for the first time under Guardiola’s stewardship with their 4-2 aggregate score victory against Borussia Dortmund. Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden scored in the opening leg 2-1 win at the Etihad Stadium on April 6th. Riyad Mahrez and Foden scored in the second leg on the road on April 14th. 

Man City reached the quarterfinals after they dispatched another Bundesliga side, Borussia Monchengladbach, by a 4-0 aggregate score in the first knockout stage. The Citizens have won ten of their eleven Champions League matches this season with a 0-0 draw against FC Porto, the lone blemish on their resume. 

Guardiola is on track to guide Man City to their third English Premier League title in the last four seasons. The Citizens are in first place by 12 points over Manchester United. 

PSG rebounded from their midweek loss by defeating Lens at home, 2-1, on Saturday, with Neymar and Marquinhos scoring goals. Les Parisiens have won five of their last seven games across all competitions. They remain in second place in Ligue 1, one point behind Lille.

Pochettino led his team to the semifinals of the European championship by defeating Bayern Munich with the away goals tiebreaker. Les Parisiens won the opening match at Allianz Stadium, 3-2, on April 7th. Kylian Mbappe scored twice, and Marquinhos added a third goal in the triumph. Despite losing at home to the Bavarians in the second leg on April 13th, their three goals on the road broke the 3-3 aggregate score stalemate. 

PSG may have endured the most difficult road to reach the final four. They survived a challenging group stage that included RB Leipzig and Manchester United. Les Parisiens then faced Barcelona in the first knockout stage round. They defeated Lionel Messi and company by a 5-2 aggregate score after striking a dominant 4-1 blow on the road in the first leg against Barca. 

Mbappe suffered a calf injury that kept him out of the weekend match against Lens. He is not in the starting XI for this match, but he may be available as a substitute. 

Paris Saint-Germain must score at least two goals in victory to advance to the finals. A 2-1 result for PSG in regulation time would force extra time with the aggregate score tied at three goals apiece and deadlocked with two away goals. If both teams score in extra time, but the score remains tied after the two after the two 15-minute halves, the road team wins via the away goals tie-breaker. A best-of-five penalty shootout resolves the match if the extra time goes scoreless. 

Neither of these storied franchises has lifted the UEFA Champions League trophy. PSG lost to Bayern Munich in the finals last August. Les Parisiens would be just the ninth team in the history of the event to reach the finals if they can get past Man City. 

BetOnline lists Man City as a -0.75 goal line favorite with the total set at 3.

Computer prediction:  Manchester City 3 Paris Saint-Germain 1

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

© 2021 Al McMordie's BigAl.com. All Rights Reserved.