PSG or Man City: Who will make the Champions League final?

When a competition like the Champions League reaches the semi-final stage you’re always going to get at least one matchup that promises to be an absolute thriller.

Chelsea vs Real Madrid – yeahhh fair enough, but the return of Eden Hazard discourse is already getting a bit tedious if we’re honest.

PSG vs Manchester City – now you’re talking!

Two of the most exciting attacking teams in Europe, both with occasionally fragile defences and both willing to sell their souls if it means notching their maiden Champions League crown – this seriously couldn’t be any more mouth-watering.

The pair face off at the Parc des Princes on April 28 before the return leg at the Etihad Stadium just six days later, so as we build up to possibly the most eagerly anticipated game of the season so far, 90min takes a look at the strengths and weaknesses of both sides before answering the big question – who will reach the final?

PSG's frontline is one of the best in the worldPSG's frontline is one of the best in the world
PSG’s frontline is one of the best in the world | FRANCK FIFE/Getty Images

Picking who has the better attacking line-up out of PSG and City is so difficult.

Pep Guardiola probably has more options available to him and so has better squad depth in the attacking areas, but when comparing the two strongest starting XIs you’d have to side with Les Parisiens.

If City had a fit, world class striker then it might tip the balance in their favour, but with Gabriel Jesus struggling to lead the line and Sergio Aguero unable to find his best form following multiple injuries, the ridiculous talents of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe take the win in this category.

Winner: PSG

John Stones and Ruben Dias have been in great form this seasonJohn Stones and Ruben Dias have been in great form this season
John Stones and Ruben Dias have been in great form this season | Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Again there really isn’t much to choose between the pair here.

Both can look shaky at the back and to prove how close it is they’ve conceded exactly the same amount of goals in their respective league campaigns so far this campaign.

Last season PSG would have probably just shaved this one, but the arrival of Ruben Dias has been like signing two new defenders for City as he’s brought out the best in centre-back partner John Stones.

Bayern Munich proved in their quarter-final tie with PSG that the French champions can be vulnerable at the back if you apply enough pressure, so City edge this one.

Winner: Manchester City

Mauricio Pochettino hasn't quite had things his own way at PSG so farMauricio Pochettino hasn't quite had things his own way at PSG so far
Mauricio Pochettino hasn’t quite had things his own way at PSG so far | Marcio Machado/Getty Images

This is a big one when it comes to comparing the two sides.

Their first meeting came all the way back in 2009 when Pochettino’s Espanyol side took a decent 0-0 draw from the first leg of their Copa del Rey quarter-final with Barcelona.

While some will argue that Guardiola has pretty much always had a far better squad at his disposal than Pochettino, just three defeats for the Catalan boss in their 18 meeting is a comprehensive win.

Guardiola has ten wins against Pochettino from his time with Barça and City, and that could well play a part as the pair come face to face in the semi-final.

Winner: Manchester City

Phil Foden and his Manchester City team have excelled this seasonPhil Foden and his Manchester City team have excelled this season
Phil Foden and his Manchester City team have excelled this season | BSR Agency/Getty Images

There’s really no debate over who wins this one.

Manchester City may have suffered a bit of a blip recently against Leeds, but their form on the whole throughout this season has been incredible.

Guardiola’s men are on for an unprecedented quadruple and sit 11 points clear in the Premier League, while PSG’s usual procession to the Ligue 1 title is anything but that this season.

Pochettino’s men are in danger of not finishing top of Ligue 1 for just the second time in the last nine seasons as Lille’s title tilt goes from strength to strength. City may well have the opportunity to rest players prior to the clash with PSG knowing the Premier League title is as good as theirs – PSG won’t be afforded such luxury in Ligue 1.

Winner: Manchester City

Neymar came within 90 minutes of securing Champions League glory with PSG last seasonNeymar came within 90 minutes of securing Champions League glory with PSG last season
Neymar came within 90 minutes of securing Champions League glory with PSG last season | MATTHEW CHILDS/Getty Images

Neither of these sides have tasted Champions League success in the past, though PSG did come within 90 minutes of lifting the trophy last season.

They’ve both had their fair share of quarter-final heartbreak in the last decade, but with little to separate the two we’ve got to side with PSG on the basis they’ve triumphed at the Champions League semi-final stage in the past and Man City’s only appearance in the last four saw them dumped out by Real Madrid in 2016.

Winner: PSG

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You only have to look at the goals for and against in their respective league campaigns to realise just how evenly matched these two sides are, and while some will moan Ligue 1 isn’t at the same level as the Premier League, PSG did a pretty good job of getting rid of the reigning European champions in the last round.

But given Manchester City’s form this season and Guardiola’s success over Pochettino in the past, we’re backing the City backline to just about do enough to stifle PSG’s lethal forwards and advance to the showpiece event in May.

Regardless of whether you agree or not, the game should be absolutely brilliant and we can’t wait to watch it.

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