UEFA Champions League. Atalanta vs PSG

The UEFA Champions League returns with a bang as Atalanta face PSG in the quarterfinals of the mini-tournament in Lisbon. This postponed knockout tie sees two of Europe’s highest scorers with 252 goals between them in all competitions this season, face off in a mouth-watering clash.

As PSG aim to reach a first Champions League semi-final since 1995, Atalanta are taking in a first quarter-final appearance in the club’s history. Both gunning for a semi-final tie with Atlético Madrid or RB Leipzig, there is enough firepower for victory.

It is set to be an exciting tactical battle between Thomas Tuchel and Gian Piero Gasperini, although both men would be without key marksmen, there is world-class quality all over the pitch to ensure a pulsating encounter.

PSG players
PSG are aiming to make history on the way to a much-coveted Champions League trophy. (Reuters)

Marco Veratti is out for the French side and injury doubt Kylian Mbappe is a unique ingredient of PSG’s Fab four so they might revert to a front three of Neymar, Pablo Sarabia and Mauro Icardi, with Ángel Di María suspended and Mbappe only likely to feature. On the other hand, La Dea are without Josip Iličić due to injury and personal reasons but have scored 28 times since restart although falling short of 100 league goals in a final day clash with Inter Milan.

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Four members of the Atalanta squad registered double digits in goals this season and with all their attacking threat, can be picked off their aggressive man-to-man pressing by intelligent players. The Bergamo side conceded six times against Man City in this season’s group stage, and have conceded the most amongst all the quarterfinalists. Thus, Neymar would be looking to trick his way into goalscoring situations, the Brazilian is playing with a fire in his belly after scaling their Round of 16 hoodoo against Borussia Dortmund.

Atalanta players
Will a fearless Atalanta side defy the odds once again in the Champions League? (Getty Images)

Atalanta’s wing-backs will look to stretch the Parisians and combine with their fluid attackers, rest assured they can punish any slack defending and PSG will have to make their experience at this level count.

With the one-off knockout format in this UEFA Champions League mini-tournament giving it a proper cup game feeling, the ability to utilize five substitutes gives an added twist to the impending drama. 

Lots of attacking football in the offing for two motivated sides, this will be decided by who wins in both penalty boxes and in the dugouts, too.

Bayern Munich also take on Barcelona on Friday in another mammoth European clash. They are back, roll on the Champions League nights.


Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin

Chief Editor of the Football Castle, Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin is a football junkie and writer of the beautiful game.


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