Right on the fiftieth anniversary of its creation, PSG faces a major challenge on Wednesday, and knows it is expected at the turn. The club from the capital faces Atalanta Bergamo in Lisbon to secure a place in the last four of the Champions League, a stage that it has not reached since 1995, all in a competition reshaped due to the coronavirus outbreak, with knockout and closed-door matches. But deprived of Verratti and with a Mbappé not 100% after his ankle injury, PSG, which despite everything leaves favorite against a much more inexperienced opponent on the European scene, but who has emerged this season as one of the the most exciting teams on the continent, will have no room for error. Follow the match live on Europe 1 and Europe1.fr.
PSG-Atalanta: kick off at 9 p.m.
The meeting can also be followed live on the antenna of Europe 1 until 11:30 p.m.
Update on Atalanta Bergamo: the nice surprise of the season. If Atalanta Bergamo is undoubtedly the "little thumb" of these quarters (this is also his first participation in the competition), the Italians have yet everything to create a surprise. 3rd in Serie A, the team coached by Gian Piero Gasperini has established itself as one of the most effective goal machines in Europe, with in particular 98 goals scored in Serie A, and has won over with its very high pressing and marking rigorous individual.
In addition, Serie A having resumed, unlike Ligue 1, the Bergamasques have more matches in the legs, and therefore more pace than their evening opponents. But they too are experiencing injury issues. Goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini is forfeited and replaced by Marco Sportiello. Gasperini is also deprived of Josip Ilicic, his top scorer, absent for personal and psychological difficulties. But he can still count on his formidable duo of Colombian strikers, Zapata and Muriel, each 19 goals in all competitions. Substitute, Muriel is particularly formidable when he returns during a match, and scored 11 of his 19 goals coming off the bench.
Update on PSG: a unique opportunity, but the risk of lack of rhythm. The opportunity is unique for PSG. While the club has not set foot in the semi-finals of the competition since 1995, and remain on three consecutive eliminations in the quarter-finals, Thomas Tuchel's men find themselves only three matches away from an unprecedented European coronation, and this against the least experienced team at this stage of the competition among the qualified. But PSG did not arrive in Portugal full of confidence, however, and remained on two games hung against Saint-Etienne and Lyon in the finals of the Coupe de France and the Coupe de la Ligue. And the Parisian offensive line worries since the resumption with only one goal scored in 210 minutes of competition.
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In lack of pace since the end of the interruption due to the health crisis, PSG players are also deprived of several key players. Injured in the calf, the Italian metronome Verratti remained in Paris to treat his calf. Hit in the ankle against Saint-Etienne, Kylian Mbappé made him the trip for the three-day course in Faro, and returned to collective training. He could come home during the match. In recent weeks, Layvin Kurzawa and Thilo Kehrer have also been held back by injuries, but have recovered. On the other hand, PSG will have to do without Argentinian midfielder Angel Di Maria, suspended.
The competition point. This PSG-Atalanta is the firstmatch of the "Final 8" of the Champions League, this new-look competition set up due to the coronavirus pandemic, which takes place in Lisbon over eleven days of competition, with unique knockout matches. Farewell, therefore, to the two-way matches and the famous rule of goals counting twice away. In addition, all matches are played behind closed doors, and the stands of the Luz stadium are therefore empty tonight. Exceptionally, the teams are authorized to make five substitutions during the match. Note that in the event of extra time, a sixth player may enter during the game.
Eight teams have qualified for these quarter-finals: PSG and Lyon, Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig, Atlético Madrid and FC Barcelona, Atalanta Bergamo, and Manchester City.