Serie A’s Atalanta will face Paris St Germain in the Champions League quarter-final tomorrow night.
Supporters across Europe will be able to watch the finale of Europe’s most prestigious competitions. The remaining eight clubs will travel to Lisbon for a mini-tournament, starting tomorrow night.
Atalanta vs PSG – Champions League quarter-final preview
Goals, Goals, Goals
One outcome you will be able to predict in this Champions League is there will be goals – and loads of them.
Atalanta recent rise in Italy has seen them emerge as a neutrals’ favourite, with their free-flowing attack grabbing many plaudits along the way. In the 2018/19 season, Atalanta finished in 3rd, securing Champions League football for the first time and they were top scorers in Italy.
That success has been followed into the current campaign, finishing 3rd for a second consecutive campaign and finishing as Serie A’s leading scorers with 98 goals – only Bayern Munich (100) and Man City (102) have more. Plus, three of their forwards scored more than 15 goals this season, including Josip Illic, Duvan Zapata and Luis Muriel – scoring 20, 19 and 19 goals respectively.
Not only do Atalanta score goals for fun, but their defence can easily be penetrated, due to their high-pressing and free-flowing attack. In the Serie A, Gian Piero Gasperini’s side shipped 48 goals this season – more than Inter Milan, Juventus and Lazio.
PSG, who are known for their frightening attack, would look to break their defence apart, but will also have to worry about their backline. Despite only conceding 24 goals in Ligue 1, PSG does have weakness in their defence which Atalanta will feast on.
Neymar to lead the line
PSG’s attack is superior to Atalanta and would have undoubtedly smashed 100 goals this season if Ligue 1 was allowed to continue. With 10 games to go, French authorities pulled the plug on Ligue 1. PSG were crowned champions, scoring 76 goals with 11 games left.
However, Kylian Mbappe did suffer an injury in the French Cup final which ruled him out for three weeks. Mbappe was PSG’s top scorer this season, netting 23 goals in 27 appearances, and a significant loss for the Ligue 1 champions. But 21-year-old has been named in their Champions League squad and could make a surprise return earlier than expected.
The Frenchman will be one to watch, but the Italian side has another player to be anxious about. Football’s most expensive player, Neymar, has endured another mixed season filled with injuries. However, the Brazilian could be unstoppable against Atalanta and will be determined to win Europe’s prestigious competition to the French club. He was PSG’s third top scorer in all competitions, scoring 16 goals and assisting in eight in 19 games.
Neymar will be out to prove a point.
Following in Lyon’s footsteps
Ahead of PSG’s encounter versus Atalanta, the round of 16 games still needed to be decided. Including one of their fellow Ligue 1 side – Lyon.
Looking back over PSG’s record against Italian clubs in European competitions, it presents excellent reading for Atalanta fans. The Parisians have faced 16 Italian clubs in their history, only winning twice, drawing five and nine defeats. The last victory came in 1995 in the Club Winners’ Cup beating FC Parma 3 – 1 in the final. Their latest fixture was against AC Milan in 2001 for Champions’ League group stage.
Could history continue to obstruct PSG from finally winning the Champions League?
All we can say is expect goals.
Both sides are frightening travelling forward but have lots of concerns in their defence. Atalanta will present a good account of themselves and certainly push PSG to the boundaries in their tie. However, due to the tie being one-leg and PSG’s superior experience in the latter stages of the competition, I can only see the French side winning in Lisbon.
Expect a free-flowing game of goals and enjoyment.
Score: Atalanta 2-4 PSG