Dortmund take a 2-1 aggregate lead to Paris on Wednesday night for the second leg of the Champions League last 16 showdown against PSG. Mark O'Haire previews the encounter...
"All bar four of PSG’s past 30 Champions League matches have featured at least three goals with the hosts scoring at least four in six of their last seven home games"
Paris St-Germain v Borussia Dortmund
Wednesday March 11, 20:00
Paris St-Germain's scheduled Saturday trip to Strasbourg was the first fixture to be postponed in France due to escalating coronavirus fears. The runaway Ligue 1 leaders weren't too fussed with the decision with Thomas Tuchel's team enjoying the extra rest days ahead of Wednesday night's mouthwatering match-up at the Parc des Princes.
Les Rouge et Bleu are looking to overturn a 2-1 first leg deficit this midweek, although the contest in the capital will now be playing behind closed doors following a ruling made by the French government and Paris police on Monday. Tuchel insists the intervention is unfortunate but won't detract from Les Parisiens' attempts to turnaround the tie.
PSG will be without suspended pair Thomas Meunier and Marco Verratti, with Thilo Kehrer set to stand in for the former at right-back and Leandro Paredes filling the latter's boots. Angel Di Maria and Thiago Silva should be fine to shake-off recent injury concerns but star striker Kylian Mbappe has been struggling with throat infection and is now a major doubt.
Dortmund deliver in Gladbach
Dortmund warmed up for Wednesday's match-up with a vital 2-1 victory over title rivals Monchengladbach on Saturday. Erling Haaland turned provider, slipping Thorgan Hazard in for BVB's opener before Jadon Sancho sprang from the bench to set up Achraf Hakimi's winning goal. It was the England international's 15th assist of the season, a new club record.
Die Schwarzgelben have now registered five successive wins, as well as eight triumphs from 10 across all competitions since returning from the winter break (W8-D0-L2). The January addition of Emre Can has given Lucien Favre's group a more composed and balanced offering in midfield, whilst Haaland's exploits ensure Dortmund are efficient in attack.
The Norwegian scored both goals in the reverse fixture and currently tops the European scoring charts with an eye-watering 40 goals in all competitions for Salzburg (28) and Dortmund (12), including 10 in this season's Champions League. Haaland will be joined by Sancho and Hazard in attack here with captain Marco Reus the only BVB absentee.
Germans favourites to qualify
PSG 1.794/5 have never progressed to the next stage of the Champions League after losing the first leg of a knockout match and the hosts head into the midweek encounter having lost five of their last six knockout games. The hosts have drifted to 2.0621/20 in the To Qualify market on the back of the potential loss of Kylian Mbappe to illness this week.
Les Rouge et Bleu were overrun and out-gunned in Dortmund and possibly struggled to adapt to a late change in system from Thomas Tuchel. The well-practiced W4-D2-L2 was ditched in favour of a 3-4-3 formation and PSG were timid and toiled as they were asked to take the imitative in Germany. A return to familiar territory should enable improvement.
Dortmund 4.407/2 have always progressed to the next stage of the Champions League after winning the first leg of a knockout match, doing so on all four previous occasions. BVB are now just 1.9010/11 to qualify for the quarter-finals, although the visitors have been beaten in each of their last five away Champions League days in the knockout phase since 2014.
Expect goals galore in Paris
With the match taking place behind closed doors, there'll be a strange atmosphere inside the Parc des Princes that could lessen the likelihood of a thrilling fixture. Even so, it's difficult to make a strong case against a high-scoring showdown considering the ability on the field, the state of the play of the tie and attacking approaches from the two coaches.
Over 3.5 Goals 1.9310/11 could and should have clicked in the first leg tie at Westfalenstadion and so supporting a high-scoring contest should again be advised with very little goals value found elsewhere. All bar four of PSG's past 30 Champions League matches have featured at least three goals with the hosts scoring at least four in six of their last seven home games.
PSG tend to be prolific operators at the Parc des Princes, troubling the scoresheet in all bar one of their 45 fixtures here since May 2018, whilst Dortmund have notched in each of their last 18 outings, suggesting both should again oblige in Both Teams To Score column and a shootout could then ensure with a place in the last-eight up for grabs.
Mark's 2019/20 Profit/Loss
Staked: 128.00 pts
Returned: 149.99 pts
P/L: +21.99 pts
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