Both of these sides have had perfect starts to the season, with five wins from five and plenty of goals scored. They also share the experience of having seen their Champions League hopes unceremoniously dashed by Real Madrid last season, and will be hoping that this game will serve as a launchpad to doing better this season. Liverpool, the 2018 runners-up in the competition, will start as favourites, but know they won’t have it easy here.
Paris St Germain are one of the richest clubs in the world, but until they can beat opponents from the top leagues on a regular basis, they might as well put their balance sheet in the trophy cabinet at the end of a season. The space they’ve left for the Champions League trophy certainly doesn’t seem set to be occupied any time soon if their performance in the knockout stages last season is anything to go by. Will new manager Thomas Tuchel knock the rich boys into shape?.
Liverpool vs Paris St Germain Prediction: Liverpool 3-2 Paris St Germain
These are certainly two sides who look better going forward. On one side, there’s Salah, Mane and Firmino, while the other boasts Neymar, Cavani and Mbappe. Both have strengthened at the back in recent times, too, but there is still a mistake in pretty much every defender who will take the field for this contest. Liverpool will be keen to get off to a winning start and they’ll probably have too much for PSG this evening, but we’d be entirely unsurprised to see the hosts make it harder for themselves than it needs to be.
Our recommended tip: Liverpool and BTTS
When this much attacking talent, and this many frankly indifferent defensive players, shares the same field, you can be confident of there being goals aplenty. Few stadia are more conducive to an adrenalised European night than this one, and we’d expect both sides to give it their all from the first whistle. Ladbrokes are offering 12/5 (3.40) on the hosts winning and both teams scoring – which seems like value given that PSG are as thrilling as the finest Parisian pastry, and every bit as flaky.
These sides are meeting for the first time in a competitive match. If that sounds surprising, bear in mind that PSG were only founded in 1970, and spent much of the late 1990s and early 2000s being utterly awful.
Liverpool fans, however, do owe one of their fondest European memories to a meeting with a French side. In a European Cup quarter-final against St. Etienne in 1977, with the sides tied 2-2 on aggregate and the French side heading through on away goals, famous Liverpool “super-sub” David Fairclough burst on to a ball out of defence, drew the visiting ‘keeper and slotted home to earn himself a page in Anfield history.
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Players to watch: Virgil van Dijk & Neymar
It would be easy to pick a forward for Liverpool, but the signing of van Dijk in January may have been the most influential purchase Jurgen Klopp has made since his arrival on Merseyside. The former Celtic and Southampton man is one of Europe’s most elegant defenders, comfortable on the ball and never looks rattled. Considering he’s spent much of his Liverpool career playing alongside Dejan Lovren, he’s either a superbly confident footballer or a naturally gifted actor.
Neymar, since his arrival in Paris, has fallen out with most of his teammates after demanding his previous manager remove Edinson Cavani from the role of penalty-taker. This level of spoiled arrogance would typically make fans resent a player, and yet somehow Neymar’s 23 goals in 24 games have made him very popular since his move from Barcelona. Along with Mbappe, he is one of PSG’s few truly world-class players.