Bayern, City, Real… Everything you need to know about PSG’s potential rivals
DISCLAIMER – An overview of the teams that PSG could inherit this Monday during the 8th draw.
“We look forward to the draw“, said Christophe Galtier after the victory (1-2) at the Juventus stadium in Paris on Wednesday. Double with “Benfica”, the capital club, second in the group, will face one of the first and very difficult in the 1/8 finals, such as “Manchester City” or “Real”. I’m not sure that’s the most appropriate term, knowing that it could drop. For example, Madrid. Bayern too. Also, the Munich club is statistically the club that Paris-SG will face the most (see below). It’s not really a complete draw, the 16 clubs still competing in C1 cannot inherit a team from their group (so PSG won’t face Benfica) or a team from their country.Of course, the group winners will play against the two-hat runners-up for this draw of 8.
In any case, we imagine the other clubs will all be hoping to avoid Paris, the dreaded second hat-trick with Liverpool. “We will watch the draw and play to win“, goalscorer Kylian Mbappe insists in equal competition with Mo Salah (7 goals). “There are teams that win the Champions League by finishing second“Marquinhos Slips, remembering that the Reds did it in 2019 after pipping Paris in the pool. One thing is certain: PSG will win the first game. For the rest, Leo Messi, Neymar Jr and company will be fixed this Monday (from 12pm). They will no doubt be hoping to draw Porto or Tottenham, who are less tough on paper than the three aforementioned opponents. With so many unknowns this season though, especially with the World Cup setting… keep an eye out for seven potential challengers to the French champions.
Bayern Munich: revenge for revenge (19.46% chance of PSG to face Bayern)
Unable to face their compatriots (Leipzig, Dortmund, Frankfurt) or the group runners-up (Milan Inter), the Bavarians have only four potential opponents in the 8th place. In turn, the hypothesis to draw Liverpool is the most likely (37.12). For PSG, the most likely outcome (19.46%) is Bayern. It wouldn’t be good news to know that the six-time winner of the event has digested the departure of Robert Lewandowski quite well, especially since he won all his matches in the “group of death” (Inter, Barça, Plzen). Cador, real. Manuel Neuer, Thomas Muller and Joshua Kimmich are still in charge of an armada strengthened by Sadio Mané and Matthijs de Ligt last summer. Not to mention the former PSG mascot, Eric Maxime Choupo-Moting, who is currently in (very) great form and ready to score, or even Kingsley Coman, who scored in the C1 2020 final in Lisbon. Paris got their revenge the following year by ousting the Bavarians at the quarter-final stage in the last clash between the two clubs to date.
League ranking: 1st
Best Champions League performance: winner (1974-1976, 2001, 2013, 2020)
Key player: Sadio Mane
Head-to-head record (last in 2021): 6 wins, 0 draws, 5 losses (11 matches)
Read alsoHats, coverage, stats … five questions ahead of the 8th Champions League draw
Napoli: true-false good draw (17.11%)
Napoli, who lost in Liverpool (2:0) on the last day of the group stage, but are still undefeated in Serie A, are in excellent form. Luciano Spalletti’s men may not have the clout of Real, City or Bayern, but it’s a piece of cake for PSG’s ex-Lille player Victor Osimhen and his younger mates, who have never topped the Italian league table after Saturday’s win over Atalanta there would be no walk. Bergamo (1-2). Fabian Ruiz would find his former partners and Salvatore Sirigu, the Parc des Princes he knew by heart. Tanguy Ndombélé almost got there last winter, but it didn’t happen in the end. It should be noted that “Napoli” has never passed the 8th stage in C1. A really good draw for PSG, who will obviously have a fiery atmosphere at the Maradona stadium in Naples.
League ranking: 1st
Best Champions League performance: 1/16 (1991, 2012, 2017, 2020)
Main player: Victor Osimhen
Head-to-head record (last in 2018): 1 win, 3 draws, 0 losses (4 matches)
Chelsea: great classic (13.9%)
“Chelsea” is the English club that PSG has faced the most in its history. With good and bad memories… We remember this 2015 11 v 10 v 11 extra time Paris qualification and Thiago Silva’s goal in the 114th minute (2-2) in 2015. Which Thiago Silva wears Blues colors today. In 2014, it was less glorious when Demba Ba scored this goal late in the game to crucify Paris (2-0)… Another time (2004) Didier Drogba enjoyed a double at the Parc des Princes (0-3). One thing is for sure: Despite the difficult start to the season that cost former Paris-SG coach Thomas Tuchel, his place, the Blues look (very) good on paper. The base of the 2021 European champions is still there, with Raheem Sterling and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, plus Wesley Fofana. Very heavy. Their form at the moment isn’t brilliant, but things can clearly change between now and February and March, and it would be best not to think that Chelsea are an opponent that PSG will make short work of…
League ranking: 7th
Best Champions League performance: winner (2012, 2021)
Key player: Raheem Sterling
Head-to-head record (last in 2016): 3 wins, 3 draws, 2 losses (8 matches)
Manchester City: shock of the ultra-rich (13.88%)
This would probably be the least favorable draw for Paris Saint-Germain. A clash of the ultra-rich between Emirates’ Manchester City and Qatar’s PSG, two superstars of tomorrow, Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe. Two clubs that have not been able to experience the happiness of lifting the cup with big ears, despite huge investments and strong dominance at the national level for more than 10 years. So far, these conflicts have not really put a smile on the faces of Parisians, with their elimination in 2016 (quarters) and 2021 (halves). At the beginning of last season, “City” also finished the group stage ahead of PSG, sending Mauricio Pochettino’s players to the clutches of Real Madrid in the 1/8 finals. We know the rest…
League ranking: 2nd
Best Champions League performance: second (2022)
Key player: Erling Haaland
Head-to-head record (last in 2021): 1 win, 2 draws and 4 losses (7 matches)
Tottenham: first (13.88%)
PSG have never faced Tottenham in European Cups. It would be a great first and an opportunity to see Lucas Moura back at the Parc des Princes. Mauricio Pochettino’s former club Tottenham thrashed OM in the last second at the Vélodrome (1-2)… without impressing. He’s not the flashiest of opponents, but with the likes of Harry Kane and Heung-min Son up front, France international Hugo Lloris as the temple goalkeeper and the fiery Antonio Conte on the bench, he’s up for anything…
League ranking: 7th
Best Champions League performance: runner-up (2019)
Key player: Harry Kane
Consequences of clashes: none
Real Madrid: to clear the ghosts of the past (10.98%)
PSG-Real Madrid, quite the story… We could talk about the dispute between Nasser Al-Khelaïfi and Florentino Perez, Kylian Mbappe’s true false start in Spain or even Madrid’s incredible comeback in the round of 16 last season. -a trick from Karim Benzema in the second half (PSG notes during this cataclysm here). The trio that destroyed Paris in every sense of the word, the earthquake that landed Leonardo and Pochettino. Since then, Real haven’t changed much except for Aurelien Tchouameni who replaced Casemiro (Manchester United). After their impressive campaign in 2021-22, Madrid are aiming to win their 15th crown as the Kings of Europe this season. Which Madrid residents also left Paris in the year 8 in 2018, when Cristiano Ronaldo was still in business. PSG last beat Real Madrid in the first leg in the UEFA Cup in 1993 thanks to Antoine Comboire’s legendary header.
League standings: 2nd (one match down)
Best Champions League performance: winner (1956-1960, 1966, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2014, 2016-2018, 2022)
Main player: Karim Benzema
Head-to-head record (last in 2022): 4 wins, 3 draws, 5 losses (12 matches)
Porto: the right choice? (11,197%)
The Dragons, 87 under Arthur Jorge and European champions in 2004, were still in the quarter-finals in 2021 under Jose Mourinho. Even if the team has blown hot and cold this season, a club that is always good to underestimate, like their career in C1, especially at home against Bruges (0-4) was humiliated or a modest third place in the league. The absence of the experienced Pepe has been heavy in recent weeks. However, Porto are relying on several reliable bets, including Portugal midfielder Otavio, Portugal’s new No.1 goalkeeper Diogo Costa and Iranian striker Mehdi Taremi. A good draw? Can be. Not a bit of a thumb.
League ranking: 2nd
Best Champions League performance: winner (1987, 2004)
Key player: Diogo Costa
Head-to-head record (last in 2018): 2 wins, 1 draw, 1 loss (4 matches)
First hat teams: Napoli, Bayern, Chelsea, Manchester City, Porto, Tottenham, Real Madrid, Benfica
Second hat teams: Liverpool, Inter, AC Milan, Dortmund, Bruges, Frankfurt, Leipzig, PSG
Knockout Stage Table:
Eighth: February 14-15, 21-22 and March 7-8, 14-15, 2023
Quarter-finals: 11-12 and 18-19 April 2023
Semi-finals: 9-10 and 16-17, but 2023
Final: June 10, 2023, in Istanbul