PSG cruised to a 4-1 win at the weekend with Zlatan hitting a hat-trick and with the league all wrapped up last month they will now expect nothing less than to progress in Europe. Man City also scored four times on Saturday to end a run of three games without a goal as Kevin de Bruyne marked his return to fitness with a stellar display. The Citizens will be hoping that signals a return to form for the whole team as they desperately hang on to fourth in the league and look to make a first ever Champions League semi-final.
With so little competition domestically the success of PSG’s season has to be defined by their performances in the Champions League. It’s been a case of so far so good but they’ve fallen at this stage in each of the past three seasons so there’ll be no shortage of pressure. They’ve got plenty of recent experience playing English clubs though having met Chelsea in each of the last three years and advancing in the last two. The Parc des Princes is certainly a formidable venue with Barcelona the only side to win here in their last 38 European home games – a run that stretches back almost 10 years. Moreover, they’ve won 13 of their 19 UCL home games since 2012/13 as Real Madrid are the only side to stop them scoring.
However, both teams have scored in all seven of their knockout ties in that time as five of the matches had at least three goals. In fact they’ve kept just two clean sheets in their last nine matches across all competitions (one of which barely counts as it was against a hopeless Troyes side in Ligue 1).
Man City’s European displays have undoubtedly been better than their domestic efforts as they’ve made their first Champions League quarter-final. However, they’ve kept just two clean sheets in their last 23 UCL matches including one in 11 on the road and their defensive problems without the injured Vincent Kompany have been well documented this term. They’ve still won six of those last 11 away matches on the continent, though most of those wins were against weaker teams. With PSG being the fourth best team in Europe according to our rankings it is more relevant that City have lost nine of their last European matches against teams ranked above them, including six of seven on the road since 2012/13.
As such we like the look of PSG to win with both teams scoring at 3.6. Alternatively Zlatan Ibrahimovic looks a good bet to score. He’s scored 30 Ligue 1 goals this season at a rate of one every 70 minutes and he’s also netted in his last four Champions League matches. He might be 34 but he’s having the most prolific season of his career and can be backed at 4.0 to be the first goalscorer.
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