Paris Saint-Germain welcome Manchester City to the Parc des Princes for the first leg of the UEFA Champions League semifinals tomorrow. Neither team has won the competition in their history, so an intriguing battle awaits us in the French capital.
Pep Guardiola and Mauricio Pochettino have locked horns several times over the years, with Tottenham Hotspur's dramatic victory against Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals in 2019 the pick of the bench. However, the Cityzens have been the best team in Europe in the current campaign and are in pursuit of the treble.
Paris Saint-Germain, on the other hand, are involved in a thrilling title race in Ligue 1, as they prepare for a frantic end to the season. Both sides have quality players in abundance and have impressed in Europe this season, with PSG getting past Barcelona and Bayern Munich on their way to the semis.
On that note, here are five key players who could decide the tie at the Parc des Princes.
#5 Ilkay Gundogan | Manchester City
Ilkay Gundogan has enjoyed a stunning season for Manchester City and has arguably been Pep Guardiola's best player since the turn of the year. The German midfielder has scored goals for fun, while his ability to control the tempo and keep things ticking in the center of the park has made him an invaluable asset for the Cityzens.
Against a side like Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City will need to control the midfield to exert their dominance, so Gundogan will have to be at the top of his game. He is set to come up against one of the best midfielders in the world in Marco Verratti, so the German's performance could determine how well the Cityzens play on the night.
#4 Kylian Mbappe | Paris Saint-Germain
Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe has recorded eight goals and three assists in the UEFA Champions League campaign so far — including a stunning hat-trick against Barcelona at the Camp Nou — and is showing exactly why he is one of the most feared attackers on the planet.
The Frenchman, alongside Neymar, will be a handful for a Manchester City backline that has struggled to cope with pacy attackers on the counter over the years. Mbappe is not just a young player anymore and is experienced enough to step up on the big stage, so the onus will once again be on him to provide the goalscoring impetus for Paris Saint-Germain on the night.