Atalanta face a tough test as they meet PSG at Estadio da Luz in Lisbon, Portugal as both teams look to progress to the 2019-20 Champions League semi-finals.
This is the first of seven knockout matches to complete this season’s Champions League, meaning that extra time and penalties could be required from this match onwards.
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Pierluigi Gollini is sidelined for Atalanta with a knee injury until the start of next season.
Josip Ilicic meanwhile is absent after returning to Slovenia for personal reasons.
PSG expect Kylian Mbappe to be available despite suffering a heavy ankle sprain in their French Cup Final win over Saint Etienne last month.
Marco Verratti (calf) and Angel Di Maria (suspension) however are ruled out whilst Thomas Meunier and Edinson Cavani have both departed the French champions.
- This is the first ever meeting between Atalanta and PSG in all UEFA competitions.
- Atalanta have only advanced beyond this stage in any UEFA competition just once, which came in 1987-88 European Cup Winners’ Cup when they were eliminated in the semi-finals by Mechelen of Belgium.
- PSG have lost at this stage in their last five attempts since winning the 2001-02 Intertoto Cup.
- Atalanta’s Josip Ilicic became the first player to score four goals in a single Champions League away knockout tie, as Atlanta won their last such match 4-3 at Valencia.
- Kylian Mbappe has scored five goals in seven Champions League appearances for PSG this season.
With 246 goals between both clubs this season in all competitions, this should be a cracking match with extra time and penalties a distinct possibility under this newly tweaked format.
Atalanta have been brilliant going forward with a fearless approach but in turn, their defending does leave rather a lot to be desired with just 12 clean sheets in all competitions this season.
PSG meanwhile will have the advantage of fresher legs after playing just twice post-lockdown, yet they struggled to win both games with a 1-0 result plus a goalless draw which was won via penalties to complete the French Quadruple.
I therefore do expect a good game because under this one match format, PSG surely have their best shot at winning the title whereas Atalanta will just go for it as underdogs with little to lose seeing as they have qualified for next season’s competition.
Defending therefore is going to be crucial and if PSG do turn up with a strong performance, I can see them just edging this encounter.
Prediction: Atalanta 1-2 PSG
Result: Atalanta 1-2 PSG