8/12/20 3 pm
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Atalanta and Paris Saint-Germain are clashing at Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica in Portugal, in the Quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League.
Atalanta has been outstanding since the restart in Serie A, but in their last game against Inter, Atalanta has lost 0-2 at home, and with that, Atalanta has lost the second place in Serie A. Atalanta was solid in that game with 53% of ball possession, 7 corner kicks, 2 big chances created, solid 85% of the correct passes, but only 1 shot on goal. In the Champions League, Atalanta has knocked out Valencia from the competition before the pandemic, which got them into the Quarterfinals. Ilicic has been Atalanta’s top goalscorer in the Champions League with 5 goals, while Pasalic and Hateboer added 2 goals each. Gomez and Pasalic both have 2 assists. Palomino, Gollini, and Ilicic are all injured, and none of them will be playing in this game. Atalanta is playing really well, and even though it is a surprise that Atalanta has gotten this far in the Champions League, I can’t say I was surprised to see them here after we found out they will face Valencia in the Round of 16. Atalanta was one of the best teams in Serie A after the restart, and I think that the loss against Inter has done more good than bad for Atalanta. Sometimes the loss is what the team needs to set them straight and keep them going forward.
PSG has played only 2 competitive games in the last few weeks, and we could see that they are still not on their highest competitive level, but PSG has won two trophies in those two games, Coupe de France and Coupe de la Ligue. After losing to Borussia Dortmund in the first leg of Round of 16, PSG has beaten Borussia 2-0 in the second leg, and with that, PSG has qualified to the Champions League quarterfinals. In the group stage, PSG was dominant with 5 wins and 1 draw, a total of 16 points won, 17 scored goals, and only 2 conceded goals. In their most recent competitive game against Lyon, PSG has had 57% of ball possession, 6 shots on goal, 6 corner kicks, and 83% of the correct passes. Offensively, PSG hasn’t shown much, but they were able to win the title after the penalty shootout. Kurzawa is injured, Di Maria is suspended because of the yellow cards, while Mbappe is still questionable for this game, but apparently, he is close to being ready for this match. I don’t expect Mbappe to start the game, but if necessary, he will probably play. Icardi and Mbappe have both scored 5 goals for PSG in the Champions League, while Neymar added 3 goals. Mbappe and Di Maria have both added 4 assists. It’s needless to say how much Mbappe brings to PSG’s game, and if he will not be playing, it will be a huge blow for PSG. In my previous articles, I mentioned that PSG has probably the most depth in the attacking end, but with Mbappe and Di Maria out, that depth is a lot shallower.
PSG is on a 10-game winning streak, but they are missing some key players for this game. Atalanta and PSG have never played before, and if Atalanta gets a win here, this would be the biggest success in the club history, needless to say, that everyone is highly motivated. I like Atalanta in this matchup because they can certainly score goals, but they are better defensively than PSG in my opinion.