Six talking points ahead of MCFC vs PSG

Sport360 staff 11:10 12/04/2016

Manchester City come into the second leg with the upper hand in the tie after grabbing two away goals at the Parc des Princes last week.

City are bidding to reach the Champions League semi-finals for the first time, while French champions PSG graced the last four once in 1995.

Here, Sport360 presents six talking points ahead of the game at the Etihad Stadium.

Zlatan in the shop window

The Swede is out of contract and is weighing up interest. His ability is unquestionable but clubs are wary of committing a huge chunk of their wage bill to a 34-year-old. That could all change with a few elite showings in the Champions League, further enhancing his status.

Defensive doubts

Despite all the riches afforded on both squads, the first leg saw two rotten defensive displays. City’s Kompany-less problems have been constant, while PSG’s lack of Ligue 1 competition means their backline can be taken by surprise. With two fine frontlines, whoever produces something near a capable showing in defence should triumph.

Stopping the midfield maestros

David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne, Angel Di Maria and Lucas Moura represent some of the most aesthetically pleasing playmakers in world football (let’s hope Marco Verratti is declared fit). Both teams, though, are also equipped with midfield destroyers – Fernandinho and Motta – whose displays will dramatically shape the contest.

Concerns over Joe Hart

As England No1, Hart is subject to more focus and criticism than most keepers in the Premier League, but he’s been at fault for each of City’s last three goals conceded – including the two in Paris. He has traditionally produced some match-defining performances in Europe and with issues at the back, City need him at his best.

How will PSG cope without Matuidi?

The dynamic French international is suspended, robbing PSG of their legs and lungs in the middle of the park. With Verratti‘s status unclear, how PSG control the midfield will be a conundrum for Laurent Blanc. Motta and Rabiot are very much passers, but the more physical Benjamin Stambouli is also an option.

Flying full-backs

As the first leg emphasised, City’s two full-backs like to sit a little deeper (assuming Kolarov doesn’t start), while PSG’s wide defenders attack at will. Serge Aurier appears to have worked his way back into Blanc’s affections and expect him to bomb forward, along with Maxwell. Can City take advantage or will they exercise caution?

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