Paris Saint-Germain begin their Champions League campaign with a trip to Belgium to face Club Brugge at the Jan Breydel Stadium on Wednesday evening.
The Parisians have started the 2021/22 Ligue 1 campaign in blistering form with five wins from five, scoring 16 goals and conceding five in the process. They will finally pursue the Champions League crown that has eluded them for so long having lost last season in the tournament’s semi-finals.
However, Mauricio Pochettino’s PSG will have to be at their best to usurp Club Brugge, Manchester City and RB Leipzig to claim one of the top two spots in Group A.
Paris Saint-Germain are set to welcome Lionel Messi, Leandro Paredes and Neymar back to the fold after the trio missed out on the 4-0 victory over Clermont Foot at the weekend, but Sergio Ramos, Layvin Kurzawa and Marco Verratti are not fit enough to make it in time for the midweek clash.
Angel di Maria and Idrissa Gueye remain suspended, while new signing Nuno Mendes will be pushing for his full debut. Mauro Icardi returned to the PSG squad against Clermont Foot after recovering from a shoulder injury.
Predicted PSG lineup vs Club Brugge (4-3-3)
Gianluigi Donnarumma made his much-awaited PSG debut against Clermont Foot on Saturday, keeping a clean sheet to start the new chapter in his career. The Italian international is expected to start in goal in the PSG lineup on Wednesday.
With Sergio Ramos still out injured, Marquinhos and Presnel Kimpembe will marshal the backline with Achraf Hakimi at right-back. Nuno Mendes came on as a substitute against Clermont Foot and is expected to be handed a start at left-back in the PSG lineup.
The PSG backline will have to remain alert to keep the likes of Bas Dost and Noa Lang at bay.
Former Everton midfielder Idrissa Gueye has cemented his place in the PSG lineup this season but with the Senegalese suspended, Pochettino could go with Danilo Pereira in the holding role.
Three goals and two assists in five Ligue 1 games tells one the form Ander Herrera currently is in, making him an undisputed starter at the Jan Breydel Stadium. Georginio Wijnaldum will complete PSG’s engine room, as Pochettino’s side look to control the game from the first blow of the whistle.
The attacking trio of Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar would strike fear into the hearts of any defence in Europe and Pochettino will look to unleash them against a shaky Club Brugge backline that conceded six goals to Gent a fortnight ago.
This will be the perfect opportunity for the trio to make their collective bow and if they have their way, their opponents could be in for a long 90 minutes tomorrow.