The very best of European football provides one of its classics with a potential game of the season, as Paris Saint Germain travel to face Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League Round of 16 first leg.

This tie promises a showcase of breathtaking attacking football which sees Europe’s highest-scoring side (PSG) come up against joint-third.

While PSG are one of this season’s favourites, Dortmund have every capability to be the surprise package, like Ajax last season. Dortmund’s yellow wall would be roaring BVB in an epic clash.


Both managers are very familiar with the opposition.
 German Thomas Tuchel joined PSG after a two-year spell at Dortmund, with present incumbent Lucien Favre joining from Nice, where he regularly faced PSG in the French Ligue 1.

Tuchel utilizes a quite intriguing 4-2-2-2 set-up domestically; the shape allows the ‘Fantastic Four’ of Neymar, Angel Di Maria, Kylian Mbappé and Mauro Icardi in a front four that guarantees goals but unsurprisingly creates a defensive burden on the team. Therefore the Ligue 1 table-toppers might be lining up in a 4-3-3.

Jadon Sancho has recorded double figures in goals and assists this season. (AFP or Licensors)
It’s a straight shootout between Jadon Sancho and Mbappé, two of Europe’s hottest young attacking talents in recent years. Who can score more goals to take their team through? A fascinating one, that.

Dortmund have scored an incredible 24 times in six matches in 2020 to set a host of german football goal scoring records; as they sit third in the battle for the Bundesliga title.

The Black and Yellows are now led upfront by 19-year-old striking sensation Erling Braut Håland, who has set the Bundesliga alight with eight goals in just five appearances (305 minutes), and currently maintains a goal every 47 minutes in the Champions League this season.

Much like their opponents, Dortmund have their defensive worries; this is down to the barest details.

Wing-back Achraf Hakimi has been sensational going forward for the germans, with four goals in their European campaign so far. 
However the prospect of coming up against one of the world’s best in Neymar – who will be fired up having missed PSG’s last 16 tie with Manchester United last season- poses a worry whenever Hakimi bombs forward.

Will Neymar finally guide PSG to the quarterfinals? (Getty Images)
BVB would be looking to awaken the demons of PSG’s last 16 elimination, having experienced meltdown at this stage of the competition for three seasons in a row.

Indeed, having fallen against Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester United, Paris are looking to banish their Champions League last 16 hoodoo.

Standing in their way, is Favre’s buoyant young guns ready to write their own fairytale. 

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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