Champions League kicks off this week, and we will be facing Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain in our opening game at Parc des Princes on Tuesday.
Other clubs in our group are Bulgarian side Ludogorets and Swiss side FC Basel, so one can safely say that the game on Tuesday would be our most difficult in the group stage.
The Paris club, under new manager Unai Emery, haven’t had the best of starts in their domestic league this season and currently sit sixth in the league table with seven points from four games.
This is quite identical to our own situation in the league as we also sit in the same position with the same amount of points in Premier League.
However, PSG managed a disappointing 1-1 draw with St Etienne on Saturday and are currently missing a number of important players due to injuries. The departure of striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has also seemed severely weaken the French club.
However, they still boast of players like Verratti and Di Maria who are well capable of hurting any team in the world.
It will be a decent opportunity for us on Tuesday night to grab three points and establish our stronghold in the group stage. Let’s see how our opponents can line up during the game:
German goalkeeper Kevin Trapp is expected to start against us in the goalposts.
Paris Saint-Germain have been severely hampered by the injuries in the defensive department. They currently have only three fit defenders and no natural left-back for the game against us.
The likes of Serge Aurier, Maxwell and skipper Thiago Silva have been sidelined with injuries while left-back Layvin Kurzawa also picked up a hamstring injury in the Saturday’s draw against St Etienne.
Silva is currently closest to making a recovery from his injury and has a slight chance of featuring against us. I expect the Brazilian to partner his compatriot Marquinhos in the centre of defence.
Thomas Meunier will start in the right-back spot while Presnel Kimpembe could start on the left side of the back four.
Paris Saint-Germain has a decent number of world-class midfielders in their squad, and I believe they can dominate us in the midfield on Tuesday.
The trio of Blaise Matuidi, Thiago Motta and Marco Verratti is likely to form the midfield of the Parisian side.
PSG are also missing Javier Pastore to an injury. Emery’s side has struggled with scoring goals this season.
Edison Cavani has failed to fill the boots left vacant by Zlatan Ibrahimovic while summer signing Jese has failed to impress in the opening games of the season. The Same thing can be said about former Newcastle United winger Hatem Ben Arfa.
I expect the Uruguayan international to lead the attacking lines against us. Lucas Moura, who has already scored three goals this season, will play on the right side of the front three.
Argentina international Angel Di Maria will feature on the opposite flank.