Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) will host Club Brugge in their final UEFA Champions League group stage encounter at the Parc des Princes on Tuesday (December 7). The result of the clash will not affect PSG’s standings in Group A but Mauricio Pochettino will want his side to go into the knockout rounds on a positive note. The Parisians strengthened their squad in the summer but are still far from perfect. PSG have won two, drawn two and lost one game in five Champions League games so far this campaign.
Their defeat at the hands of Manchester City on Matchday 5 means the French giants will have to settle for a second-place finish in their group. PSG have also been poor recently in Ligue 1, having drawn their last two league matches. Club Brugge, on the other hand, have lost three games in a row in the Champions League. However, a win against the French side might help them register a place in the Europa League. The Belgian side held PSG to a 1-1 draw when the two teams last met. Ahead of the encounter, here’s a look at five players who could decide the outcome of PSG’s fixture against Club Brugge in the Champions League.
Despite his limited chances, Di Maria has shown his caliber when operating from the right flank. The 33-year old has been the fulcrum of the team, bagging three goals and three assists in the French top flight this season. Di Maria is yet to make an impact in the two Champions League appearances he has made. However, the technically gifted Argentine has the ability to have a say in the outcome of PSG’s match against Club Brugge with his versatile skillset.
PSG are aware that a win on matchday six of the UEFA Champions League too wouldn’t help them topple Manchester City, who occupy the pole position in Group A. The Parisians take on Club Brugge at the Parc des Princes on Tuesday. After the 2-1 defeat at Manchester City in the penultimate matchday in the group stage and already having secured a place in the last 16, the French outfit will look to extend their 12-game unbeaten run at home in all competitions.
A defeat for the Belgians will mean an exit from the Europa League as well, irrespective of what transpires between RB Leipzig and Manchester City as the Germans – though level on points with Club Brugge – have a better goal difference.
Already guaranteed to finish second in Champions League Group A, Paris Saint-Germain round off their group stage fixtures with the visit of Club Brugge on Tuesday night. Les Parisiens fell to a 2-1 defeat to Manchester City on matchday five, while their Belgian counterparts were hit for five against RB Leipzig.
Under the cosh for the majority of the encounter at the Etihad Stadium once again, PSG managed to withstand the intense Citizens pressure and ultimately take the lead through Kylian Mbappe, but the Parisian joy would not last long.
Raheem Sterling took all of 13 minutes to restore parity for last season’s beaten finalists before Gabriel Jesus’s winner ensured that Man City would be finishing atop the pile, forcing PSG to accept a second-placed finish and a potentially more difficult knockout tie in the process.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side have also lost their golden touch in Ligue 1 since the start of the month, firstly drawing with Nice before rescuing a point against Lens, as Keylor Navas fumbled Seko Fofana’s long-range effort before Georginio Wijnaldum salvaged a draw with a last-gasp header.
PSG can only boast one win in their last four across all competitions heading into their encounter with Brugge, and they missed the opportunity to make it 10 wins in a row at the Parc des Princes during the visit of Nice, but Brugge still face an uphill battle for success this week.
Indeed, Pochettino’s side are now unbeaten in their last 12 competitive fixtures at their capital headquarters and have already beaten Man City and Leipzig on home turf in the 2021-22 Champions League, but the visitors still have plenty to play for.
An opening draw with PSG and victory over Leipzig had Club Brugge down as a European surprise package for some, but Philippe Clement’s side have been unable to maintain that intensity and are now battling for the Europa League consolation prize.
NAME: Paris Saint-Germain – Club Brugge
DATE: 7 Dec 2021
TIME: 17:45 UTC
VENUE: Parc des Princes, Paris, France
The Belgian giants faced an injury-hit RB Leipzig on matchday five but were still taught a footballing lesson by the Bundesliga powerhouses, with Christopher Nkunku and Emil Forsberg both putting two past them while Andre Silva also got in on the act.
Brugge start the final matchday bottom of the rankings in Group A – level on four points with Leipzig but with a far worse goal difference – so defeat to PSG will dash their hopes of Europa League football no matter what transpires in the other fixture between Leipzig and Man City.
Clement’s men have responded to that humbling in perfect fashion with three consecutive victories in the league and cup, though, most recently overcoming RFC Seraing 3-2 in the top flight thanks to Bas Dost’s double and Cisse Sandra’s effort.
A total of 16 goals have been scored across Brugge’s three consecutive domestic wins – nine for them and seven for their opposing sides – and as previously mentioned, PSG had to settle for a 1-1 draw on Belgian turf only three months ago.