Arsene Wenger would be facing PSG in the Champions League for the first time in his 19 years of UEFA’s leading cup competition with Arsenal and he would be keen to start off with a victory. The French Champions are their main contenders in the group and would be providing the toughest test for the side when they meet at the Parc des Princes on Tuesday night. Arsenal have won their last two games in their domestic league while PSG has so far struggled to keep up their level of dominance under new coach Unai Emery, losing against AS Monaco and Drawing with St. Etienne.
Both the teams have some injury doubts and are expected to take the final assessment regarding their player’s fitness’s hours before the kickoff but we pretty much do know about what the starting lineup will look like. Let’s now talk about the three key battles which will decide the outcome of the tie.
Mustafi Vs Cavani
After suffering a bad cut on the face right underneath the eye due to a boot in the face in the last game against Southampton, Laurent Koscielny is the biggest name on whose fitness the visitors are sweating right now. With the main defender of the team being doubtful for the game, Arsenal’s summer signing Shkodran Mustafi will need to provide the defensive solidity as well as the leadership at the back and contain the threat of Edinson Cavani.
Cavani has scored once in the league so far in his two appearances but looked back to his best against Paraguay in the qualifiers where he bagged a brace. The striker’s pace and athleticism would be a big threat to the Arsenal defence and his battle with Mustafi will be the most significant duel of the match.
Ozil Vs Verratti
Mesut Ozil gave a bad performance in his last outing but the German would be desperate to change that when he features on Tuesday night. PSG welcome back their most talented player in Marco Verratti after a long injury layoff and he will slot into his usual deep midfield role where his boss would deploy him to shackle Ozil whilst performing his own deep midfield playmaking duties.
A player of Ozil’s quality is bound to hurt any opposition when he is provided the space and time, Verratti will be desperate to make his presence felt by nullifying Arsenal’s most advanced playmaking threat which will severely hamper the visitors chances of getting the result they aim for in Paris.
Alexis Vs Kimpembe
PSG’s impressive youth product Presnel Kimpembe would be facing the biggest battle of his career so far when he will be pitted against Alexis Sanchez on Tuesday night. The 21-year old versatile defender who can play as a centre-back and a left-back has been very impressive so far this season under new manager Emery but he will need to contain one of the most difficult players in world football in Arsenal’s Chilean superstar on his flank when the two clubs would face off.
Alexis didn’t start the game on Saturday, only playing a part in the second half and he will be raring to go all guns blazing against an inexperienced left back on Tuesday. This particular battle will be very significant for the visitors as it would have a huge effect on the attacking pattern of Arsene Wenger’s team.