Paris Saint-Germain vs Liverpool prediction: Paris Saint-Germain 1-1 Liverpool
Liverpool’s only ever visit to Paris was for the UEFA Cup Winners Cup Semi-Final 1st Leg in 1997.
Roy Evans’ side lost 3-0 that night to a PSG team including Bernard Lama, Patrice Loko, Leonardo & Raí.
Liverpool won the return leg 2-0 at Anfield, with goals from Robbie Fowler & Mark Wright. It wasn’t enough to overturn their first leg deficit and they were eliminated on aggregate from the only European trophy that the Reds have failed to win in their history.
Liverpool’s 3-2 win earlier in the season marked the first meeting of the two clubs in the European Cup. Roberto Firmino’s injury time winner seemed the perfect end to a highly entertaining match at Anfield.
However, they are on a 3-game losing streak away from home in the competition. They won’t want to be the first ever Liverpool side to extend that run to 4 games in Europe.
Paris Saint-Germain vs Liverpool: Who will win?
PSG have a 100% record in Ligue 1 so far this season. However, in the Champions League, they haven’t had it so easy.
The French champions have won just 1 of their 4 games, at home to Red Star Belgrade. Only once in their history have they had a worse start in a Champions League group.
They did win the only tie between these two sides in Paris 3-0 back in 1997. They are 23/20 to send the Reds back home with nothing once more.
Liverpool have won 2 out of 3 ties between these two sides, including their only meeting in this competition. They will need to end PSG’s 20 game undefeated streak at home in this competition to do so though. You can find odds of 11/5 if you believe they will do it.
PSG have drawn their last two games in the Champions League, both against Napoli. Odds of another draw here are available at 3/1.
Paris Saint-Germain vs Liverpool: Who will score?
Neymar has been directly involved in 13 goals (9 goals, 4 assists) in 11 appearances in this competition for PSG. He is 4/6 to get his 10th goal for them here. 3/1 to do so as the first scorer.
Edison Cavani is the joint-favourite with Neymar at 3/1 to opening the scoring and 4/6 to score any time.
Kylian Mbappé-Lottin has been directly involved in 11 goals (6 goals, 5 assists) in his last 10 Champions League group stage games. He also scored at Anfield when the clubs met back in September. He is 5/4 to score at any time and 5/1 to do so as first scorer.
Since the start of last season, Liverpool have scored more Champions League goals than any other side (48). 73% of these have been scored by either Roberto Firmino, Mo Salah (both 12) or Sadio Mane (11).
Salah is 4/1 to score first here for Liverpool, or 20/21 to score anytime.
Firmino is available at longer odds of 7/1 and 15/8.
Mané hasn’t scored for club or country in the last 5 games. He has just 1 goal in the Champions League this season for the Reds also. He is 2/1 to end that 5-game streak here and 15/2 to do so as first scorer.
Paris Saint-Germain vs Liverpool: Match preview
PSG are a very difficult club to assess, simply because of their extreme dominance over the other Ligue 1 sides.
When you look at the Expected Goal Difference (NP xGD) of PSG compared to the rest of Ligue 1, you can see just how big the gap is between them and every other side.
It’s therefore not surprising then to see they have beaten all 14 sides in Ligue 1 this season that they have faced. They are clearly a very good side, but how good exactly?
Also, are they suffering from a similar problem Bayern did for a long time in being under-prepared for the Champions League due to a lack of a strong domestic competitor?
Bayern’s only final appearances in this millennium have come when they had a good sparring partner domestically. Most recently, they had 3 finals in 4 years during Jurgen Klopp’s era at Dortmund. The 2012/13 final saw them beat Klopp’s Dortmund to take the trophy back to Munich.
Since that final, 7 of the last 10 finalists have come from Spain. The trophy has only left Spain to make a guest appearance in the city hosting the final. It can’t be a coincidence that in Real Madrid, Barcelona & Atletico Madrid, they have 3 sides starting the season pushing each other for the La Liga crown.
How to make PSG stumble?
As you can see, they have comfortably dispatched almost every side they have faced in Ligue 1. They have only had an NP xGD of less than 1 on 4 occasions; versus Guingamp, Rennes, St. Etienne and Marseille. Of those, only the St. Etienne match was played in Paris.
Looking at the tactics deployed, there is no clear pattern either. Guingamp & Rennes both got at PSG and created chances against them. Marseille & St. Etienne didn’t, instead focusing on minimising the chances they gave up to the Parisians.
Defensively, Guingamp & Marseille pressed high and consistently throughout the game. Rennes & St. Etienne surrendered territory up to their own third, focusing on preventing PSG space in dangerous positions. Of course, the one thing we know all these matches had in common is that PSG still won.
What did Napoli do different?
The one side PSG have struggled against is Napoli. The plan for Ancelotti’s side in both games was to invite PSG into their own half while maintaining a low-midfield block.
Then, they would press aggressively from in-to-out forcing Napoli to direct their play onto the flanks. Here they would engage them aggressively using the touchline as an extra defender.
Napoli attempted an incredible 76 tackles (averaging 38 per game) across those two games. To put that into perspective, Liverpool average around 15 tackles per game in the Champions League. The vast majority of them on the flanks, particularly PSG’s left.
This is an approach that should seem all too familiar to Liverpool fans. It is the one Rafa Bentiez’s Valencia machine deployed against them in Europe before he was lured to Anfield.
It’s also one Klopp has had much success with against top sides, including Manchester City in this very competition last season.
It was also a feature of the first half at Anfield against PSG as Liverpool looked to set the tone; Henderson & Milner in particular putting in some crunching tackles to stomp their authority in midfield.
Since that game, Fabinho had been introduced to the side and registered a tackle every 10 minutes, on average, against Red Star at Anfield. That aggression was sorely missed from their performance last time out in Belgrade. I expect Klopp will be mindful of this when picking the side he wants to tackle PSG off the park on Wednesday.
Paris Saint-Germain team news vs Liverpool
Thomas Tuchel believes both Neymar and Mbappé could be available for the game. They missed the game at the weekend due to groin and shoulder injuries respectively.
Tuchel confirmed this belief in his press conference on Tuesday. There are though some suggestions that Neymar could start on the bench for PSG.
Having made a successful return to action against Toulouse, Davi Alves is back in contention for PSG. He hasn’t been involved much since April for PSG.
It is unlikely they push him back into the starting XI for a match of this intensity and magnitude. Expect him to make his first Champions League appearance of the season for them from the bench though.
Liverpool team news vs Paris Saint-Germain
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain remains out for the foreseeable future following his knee surgery.
Adam Lallana will also miss out due to a muscle injury.
After his red card at the weekend, Klopp must decide whether to play Jordan Henderson. He will be unavailable for the Merseyside derby at the weekend and therefore resting one of Fabinho or Wijnaldum for this match may be prudent.
Joe Gomez will return to the squad, and likely the starting line-up, having missed the weekend’s game due to a minor knock to his ankle.
Keita may also be in line for his first start since facing Manchester City at the beginning of October. Jurgen Klopp recently described his recent performances as ‘average’. This may be the perfect game to bring him back in with a point to prove and a desire to succeed.
Sadio Mane was a doubt due to illness but the former Southampton attacker has travelled to France with the Liverpool squad.
Jurgen Klopp was relaxed in his pre-match press conference on Tuesday, ahead of what is a massive game for his side.
Predicted Paris Saint-Germain team vs Liverpool
Predicted Liverpool team vs Paris Saint-Germain
The latest tweets from Paris Saint-Germain pre Liverpool
🗓️🔥Big week ahead! Who's ready? 💪
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) November 26, 2018
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) November 24, 2018
— Gianluigi Buffon (@gianluigibuffon) November 24, 2018
— Thomas Meunier (@ThomMills) November 24, 2018
The latest tweets from Liverpool pre Paris Saint-Germain
B I G week.👊
Wednesday: PSG (A)
Sunday: Everton (H) pic.twitter.com/ZY2Xlm5obz
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) November 26, 2018
The Reds wear red in Paris. 🔴🔴
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) November 26, 2018
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) November 26, 2018
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) November 23, 2018
All odds mentioned in this article are correct at the time of publishing and are subject to change.