PSG vs Juventus
Team News (PSG)
PSG now have both quality and depth in their roster, and this will give Christophe Galtier options to choose from. The likes of Neymar and Nuno Mendes were rested at the weekend against Nantes, while Marco Verratti and Kylian Mbappe were taken off early, probably with Juventus’s visit in mind.
Vitinha’s injury will come as a blow for PSG, and they do well to let him rest and recuperate in the upcoming games. The central midfielder has been excellent since his arrival in the summer and formed a solid understanding with Verratti in midfield. Although Fabian Ruiz has joined, Galtier is unlikely to throw the Spaniard into the firing line. Renato Sanches is likely to partner with Verratti in the middle of the park, despite Vitinha being included in the squad.
Galtier is unlikely to deviate from the 3-4-3 formation that has brought him much success this season. Gianluigi Donnarumma will start in goal behind a back three of Presnel Kimpembe, Marquinhos and the returning Serio Ramos. Nuno Mendes impressed off the bench and should return to the left-wing back slot with Achraf Hakimi bringing up the other flank.
How well Sanches and Verratti can control the middle of the park could determine how much joy PSG’s full-backs get on the night. Lionel Messi will, in all likelihood, start as the playmaker with Neymar and Mbappe running into channels. The PSG front three have linked up well this season, and a lot of what Juventus can take from the game will depend on whether they can keep the trio quiet.
Team News (Juventus)
Juventus had a rather busy summer transfer window but will be without a few key players who are out injured. Wojciech Szczesny becomes the club’s latest casualty, and despite not being as badly injured as feared, he is unlikely to return to action for around a fortnight.
He joined Federico Chiesa and Paul Pogba, both of whom are some way off returning to action. Former PSG attacker Angel Di Maria moved to Turin this past summer but is himself recovering from an injury. He is understandably left out of the travelling squad as it makes little sense to risk him.
The same cannot be said of two other former PSG men. Adrien Rabiot and Leandro Paredes could both be involved and should be keen to prove a point to their former side. Massimiliano Allegri is likely to set his side up in a 4-3-3- formation that can dovetail into a 4-4-2 or a 4-5-1 if needed. Packing the midfield will be key to cutting off any supply to PSG’s pacy frontline.
With Szczesny out, Mattia Perin will reprise his role in goal. The Italian goalkeeper has impressed when called upon this season, and it augurs well for Massimilaino Allegri. The defensively sound Mattia De Sciglio is likely to start at left-back, with Danilo occupying the other full-back slot.
Manuel Locatelli will be tasked with going toe to toe against Marco Verratti in midfield. While the PSG ace holds the upper hand, Locatelli will do well to channel his performances from Euro 2020. Paredes will also start in the middle of the park alongside Rabiot. The duo are also willing runners and can break once Juventus counters.
Filip Kostic has taken well to life in Turin and should keep his spot on the left with Juan Cuadrado occupying the other flank. Dusan Vlahovic is a shoo-in and will lead the attack on the night. Ramos and PSG’s high line could be put into disarray should Juventus play their cards right. A lot will depend on how Kostic and Vlahovic work together to make impactful runs.