Leipzig, PSG Eye First Ever Champions League Final Appearance

August 18, 2020
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Bundesliga side RB Leipzig and French Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain will both be attempting to reach the Champions League final for the first time in their respective histories when they square off in the semi-finals on Tuesday night.

PSG qualified for their first final since 1995 after a 2-1 comeback win against Atalanta, while Leipzig stun Atletico Madrid 2-1 24 hours later to be in the last four.

Having only been founded in 2009, it is incredible that Leipzig, who were not a Bundesliga side until 2016, have managed to reach the semi-finals of this season’s Champions League.

Leipzig have been impressive having excellently dispatching Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 in the last-16 stage of the competition, before the win against Atletico.

They have won eight of their last 15 Champions League games, while they have been victorious in seven of their eight previous knockout European ties, which is a record that might well stand them in good stead as they prepare to take on the French champions.

Julian Nagelsmann’s side only lost four of their 34 Bundesliga games during the 2019-20 campaign, meanwhile, claiming third behind Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.

PSG have struggled to make it past the quarter-final stage of the Champions League in recent years, while they were incredibly dumped out in the last-16 stage of last season’s competition by Manchester United.

Despite winning the first-leg 2-0 at Old Trafford, PSG surprisingly lost 3-1 at the Parc des Prince.

In the round of 16, PSG eliminated Borussia Dortmund this season before the hardfought win over Atalanta.

Les Parisiens are, without question, the dominant force in French football, but it would be fair to say that this is the competition that they really want to win, particularly considering the money that the owners have invested.

Heading into Tuesday’s tie, Leipzig’s squad is in excellent shape at the moment, though, with Ibrahima Konate, who underwent hip surgery last month, their only confirmed absentee.

It would not be a surprise to see Nagelsmann select the same XI that started against Atletico, with Dani Olmo again operating in the position just behind Yussuf Poulsen.

Patrik Schick, Adams and Emil Forsberg are among those who could come into their manager’s thinking for a starting role, although it is likely to be a case of same again for the German outfit.

PSG, meanwhile, are set to be without both key midfielder Marco Verratti and number one goalkeeper Keylor Navas for the last-four encounter.

Verratti missed out against Atalanta with a calf problem and is still struggling, while Navas had to be replaced in the latter stages of the clash with the Italian side, having picked up a thigh issue, meaning that Sergio Rico is almost certain to feature between the sticks.

Angel Di Maria was suspended against Atalanta but will return to the XI here; Layvin Kurzawa remains on the sidelines for Thomas Tuchel’s side with a thigh injury, though.

Kylian Mbappe made his return from an ankle injury off the bench in the quarter-finals and should start on Tuesday night, while Leandro Paredes could get the nod over Ander Herrera and Idrissa Gueye in midfield.

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