The Parc des Princes will be illuminated by the gleaming lights for one of the standout fixtures in Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League, as Paris Saint-Germain welcome Borussia Dortmund to the French capital, in a thrilling Group F fixture.
Group F is, without a doubt, one of the most eagerly anticipated group-stage clashes in this opening round, with AC Milan set to host Newcastle United as well.
Former Barcelona treble-winning coach and Champions League winner, Luis Enrique has taken the reins at PSG in the hope of replicating his 2015 Champions League success.
However, PSG have encountered a turbulent start to the season amassing just eight points out of a possible 15 and currently in fifth place in the league standings.
In their most recent league fixture, PSG suffered a disappointing 3-2 defeat to Nice, with Kylian Mbappe, once again, adding two goals to his tally for the team.
On the flip side, Edin Terzic’s Dortmund secured a convincing 4-2 victory over Freiburg in their most recent league outing. The win was sealed with a brace from the towering center-back, Mats Hummels, and contributions from Dutch attacker Donyell Malen and forward Marco Reus.
The Parc des Princes has been a fortress for PSG in the UEFA Champions League, with the French club tasting defeat only once in their last 33 group-stage encounters at this venue with 26 wins and six draws. That solitary loss came at the hands of Manchester United back in October 2020.
Meanwhile, Die Schwarzgelben have consistently found themselves in the knockout rounds of the Champions League, participating in eight of their last ten Champions League campaign with only two exceptions in the 2017/18 and 2021/22 seasons.
In the previous season, Dortmund performed admirably, suffering just one defeat in their six group stage matches, a narrow 2-1 loss to eventual champions Manchester City. Demand for BVB tickets is always extremely high but with the club in fine form, they are expected to sell out their away allocation for this game.
For Les Parisiens, they embark on yet another quest to capture the elusive Champions League title, still nursing the wounds from their heart-wrenching defeat to Bayern Munich in the 2019/2020 final.
In stark contrast, Dortmund boasts a single top-tier continental title from the 1996-97 season and also reached the final in the 2012/13 Champions League final where they lost to German counterparts, Bayern.
Despite their frequent appearances in the Champions League in recent seasons, PSG and Dortmund have crossed paths in the knockout stages only twice before, with both teams claiming one victory each and the other two encounters culminating in draws.
Before their clashes in the UEFA Champions League, PSG and Borussia Dortmund met in the group stage of the 2010-11 Europa League. In their inaugural competitive meeting, the match ended in a 1-1 draw at the Signal Iduna Park.
In that encounter, Jurgen Klopp led Dortmund and Nuri Sahin’s 50th-minute penalty handed them the lead. However, PSG, managed by Antoine Kombouare at the time, fought back, thanks to the midfield stalwart Clement Chantome.
A goalless draw at the Parc des Princes two weeks later suited PSG perfectly, as they secured the top spot in Group J and progressed to the knockout rounds, while Dortmund finished third behind seven-time winners Sevilla and bowed out.
Over nine years would pass before PSG and Dortmund would renew hostilities. This time, the German side aimed to get the better of their former manager, Thomas Tuchel, and eliminate PSG in the last 16 stages of the 2019-20 season.
The Ligue 1 giants had experienced early exits in the previous three seasons before facing Dortmund, who were on the brink of causing more last-16 heartache for PSG. An Erling Haaland brace in the first leg canceled out Neymar’s tap-in, giving Dortmund a 2-1 first-leg triumph.
The Norwegian’s second goal was a thunderous strike from inside the penalty area and, as the COVID-19 pandemic began to wreak havoc in March, PSG played the second leg without the presence of fans at the Parc des Princes.
Nonetheless, with 28 minutes gone, Neymar’s diving header from Angel Di Maria’s corner gave PSG the lead on the night and the advantage on aggregate, courtesy of the now-defunct away goals rule.
Tuchel’s men doubled their advantage just before halftime, with Pablo Sarabia’s cross being calmly tapped home by Juan Bernat. In the dying moments, a scuffle between Emre Can and Neymar escalated into a brawl near the two dugouts. Referee Anthony Taylor cautioned no fewer than three PSG players, while Can received his marching orders for violent conduct.
Tuchel’s side managed to scrape through with a 3-2 aggregate victory, sparking unbridled celebrations from the former Dortmund boss against his old club.
The curse of the last-16 exits had been broken, but PSG had to settle for the runner-up medals behind Bayern later that summer. The fiery loss may still linger in the minds of the Dortmund players as they seek redemption this week.
PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN VS. BORUSSIA DORTMUND: HEAD-TO-HEAD AND KEY STATS
- In their four previous meetings, PSG have secured one victory, suffered one defeat, and played to two draws against Dortmund
- French sensation Kylian Mbappe has been in scintillating form for PSG this season, netting seven league goals in just three starts.
- PSG boasts an impressive record at home in the UEFA Champions League group stage, remaining unbeaten in their last eight matches and winning seven of them.
- Luis Enrique has a remarkable Champions League managerial record, with a 73% win rate (24/33), the highest among coaches with 20 or more games in the competition.
- While PSG have won three of their last five Champions League home games, they have managed to keep just one clean sheet during that span.
- Kylian Mbappe has opened the scoring in five of PSG’s last seven Champions League home games.
- Sébastien Haller, has been a revelation in the Champions League, scoring a remarkable 11 goals in 10 appearances, including all six group stage matches during his time at Ajax
- The only prior Champions League meetings between PSG and Borussia Dortmund occurred in the 2019/20 round of 16. PSG lost 2-1 in the first leg away but rallied to a 2-0 home win, ultimately reaching the final that season.
- Donyell Malen, the talented Dutch forward, has already notched three goals in four league starts for Borussia Dortmund this season.
- Dortmund’s experienced center-back, Mats Hummels, the experienced center-back, has scored two goals in three league starts for Borussia Dortmund this season.
- Spanish winger Marco Asensio has been a vital contributor for Paris Saint-Germain this season, delivering three goal contributions in three league starts.
TEAM NEWS: PSG VS. BORUSSIA DORTMUND
PSG may contend with numerous absentees as they kick off their Champions League campaign.
Marco Asensio, Juan Bernayt Nuno Mendes, and Presnel Kimpembe, who are nursing injuries will not feature in the game.
PSG have also agreed to release Kang-in Lee for Asian Games group phase after the match with Dortmund.
Meanwhile, Dortmund are dealing with injuries to Mateu Morey, Niclas Füllkrug, Ramy Bensebaini, and Thomas Meunier.
Prediction: PSG 2-1 Borussia Dortmund
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