Friday, August 19, 2022

Preview: Can Arsenal Impress Against PSG And Avoid Another Slow Champions League Start?

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Arsène Wenger will travel to his home country to face a club he knows very well in Paris Saint-Germain. Arsenal will be facing PSG for the first time in the Champions League under Wenger as they gear up for the tie at the Parc des Princes. The two teams have rarely faced off against each other in the European competitions with their last meeting coming back in 1993/94 season in the Cup Winners Cup semi-final. Arsenal won the tie 2-1 on aggregate.

In his 19th consecutive season in the Champions League with Arsenal, Wenger has faced almost all the top clubs from Europe but up against PSG for the first time, the manager would be hoping to spoil the party in his home country and keep up Arsenal’s unbeaten record against French teams in the Champions league on French soil.

Team News

Hosts PSG do have some injury concerns with Serge Aurier, Maxwell and Thiago Silva all doubtful for the tie. With the latest injury to left back Lavyin Kurzawa, manager Unai Emery will have to make some big changes in his defensive line. Thiago Silva does have a faint chance of getting fit before the tie but it remains only a possibility.

PSG has not been the best in an attacking sense since Ibrahimović left in the summer, the midfield has not been able to supplement their forward line with Hatem Ben Arfa being completely disappointing. Ben Arfa has been dropped from the squad to face Arsenal entirely but Verratti and Pastore are in line to feature for their teams and would take on the creative playmaking responsibilities. Up front, Edinson Cavani is all set to feature and will be the biggest goal threat for the visitors on the night.

(foregroundLtoR) Paris Saint-Germain's forwards Lucas Moura and Jean-Kevin Augustin, defender Layvin Kurzawa and midfielder Blaise Matuidi take part in a training session on the eve of the UEFA Champions League football match Paris-Saint Germain vs Arsenal, on September 12, 2016 at the Ooredoo training centre in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, outside Paris. / AFP / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)
(foregroundLtoR) Paris Saint-Germain’s forwards Lucas Moura and Jean-Kevin Augustin, defender Layvin Kurzawa and midfielder Blaise Matuidi take part in a training session on the eve of the UEFA Champions League football match Paris-Saint Germain vs Arsenal, on September 12, 2016 at the Ooredoo training centre in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, outside Paris. / AFP / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger rested some players for this crucial tie on Saturday. Granit Xhaka didn’t feature at the weekend while Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud both were used as substitutes against Southampton in the second half. The biggest injury concern for the visitors was Laurent Koscielny, who suffered a facial injury in the game, nevertheless, the centre-back will be available for the tie and that will give a huge boost to the squad.

Partnering Shkodran Mustafi in the heart of the defence, Koscielny would aim for a clean sheet against the likes of Cavani, Di Maria and Jese. The only player who will miss the tie is Aaron Ramsey, who is still nursing his hamstring injury and has not travelled with the squad to Paris. Arsène Wenger does have a pretty strong team available for the tie and would look to utilise the lack of confidence on the part of the hosts after their poor start to the league campaign, to get maximum points from the fixture.

Probable Lineups

Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Cech; Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal; Xhaka, Cazorla; Sanchez, Ozil, Walcott; Giroud.
PSG (4-3-3): Trapp; Meunier, Silva, Marquinhos, Kimpembe; Motta, Matuidi, Verratti; Cavani, Moura Di Maria.

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