UCL: Paris Saint-Germain vs Atalanta Preview

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UEFA Champions League is fully back four months after the coronavirus pandemic forced the prestigious football competition to a halt. One of the most interesting fixtures in the quarter-final round which would commence on Wednesday, August 12, 2020, is the meeting of Paris Saint-Germain and Atalanta.

One interesting thing about these two teams is that the players that are the highest goalscorers on both sides might not be available for the match – Kylian Mbappe (5 goals in the Champions League this season) and Josip Ilicic (same number of goals as Mbappe).

Kylian Mbappe may miss Atalanta match against PSG
Kylian Mbappe

Recalled that Mbappe got injured when PSG played Saint-Etienne in the Coupe de France final on July 24, 2020. He is expected to be out of football for at least a month. However, reports say the 21-year-old France international was seen training with his teammates recently. Yet, there is no confirmation that he will be fit enough to play the match on Wednesday.

On the part of Josip Ilicic, the 31-year-old Slovenia forward has not played competitive football since late July amid the speculation that the Atalanta talisman caught his wife, Tina Polovina, cheating with another man in their matrimonial home in Slovenia. He is most likely not to be available for the match on Wednesday as there has been no report saying he has returned to training.

Josip Ilicic to miss Atalanta match against PSG
Josip Ilicic

Another interesting fact about the two teams is that they are yet to win the UEFA Champions League. Though PSG has been a regular in the prestigious competition for a while, they have never gotten as close as the final. This is a jinx the club seeks to break this season.

On the other hand, The 2019-2020 UEFA Champions League marks the first appearance of Atalanta. The Italian Serie A team has been having the best ride of the European competition as the club was able to push as far as the quarter-final stage of the competition for the first time in the history of the club.

However, besides, Manchester City that they played in the group stage, Atlanta have never met a club as big as PSG, hence, pundits believe this will be the club’s biggest test.

Paris Saint-Germain vs Atalanta: what is at stake

Paris Saint-Germain has been enjoying an incredible form this season. They have won the three titles that are there to be won in the French Ligue 1. Their target right now is to scale through all the remaining rounds in the Champions League in order to grab their first Uefa Champions League title.

PSG’s three domestic titles this season would mean little or nothing to them if they fail to land their first Champions League title at the end of the prestigious tournament in Lisbon, Portugal. The owners of the club have been investing heavily to actualize the dream of lifting the title.

On the other hand, Atalanta would have nothing much to lose when they face PSG on Wednesday. No one thought that they will go this far since it was their first Champions League appearance. Yet, they would not mind pushing as hard as possible until they win the title in order to stun the world even harder.

The one-legged encounter will go a long to show how much Atalanta has been missing their talisman Josip Ilicic. He would have given the Italian club more hope when they face the French club at the Estadio da Luz on Wednesday evening.

Atalanta Champions League form: LDWWWW

Atalanta form (all competitions): WDWDWL

Atalanta BC possible starting lineup:
Sportiello; Toloi, Caldara, Djimsiti; Hateboer, De Roon, Freuler, Gosens; Gomez, Malinovskiy; Zapata

Paris Saint-Germain Champions League form: WWDWLW

Paris Saint-Germain form (all competitions): WWWWWW

Paris Saint-Germain possible starting lineup:
Navas; Kehrer, Silva, Kimpembe, Bernat; Gueye, Marquinhos, Herrera; Sarabia, Icardi, Neymar

Prediction: Paris Saint-Germain 2 – Atalanta 1