The UEFA Champions League returns this Tuesday, with Paris Saint-Germain playing host to German side RB Leipzig in the third group stage game of the 2021/22 UCL campaign.
Venue: Parc des Princes
PSG have won ten of the 14 competitive games they have played this season.
They have scored 27 goals this season and have conceded ten goals.
This is the third consecutive UCL campaign that both teams have met, meaning Leipzig have only met Zenit St Petersburg (four games) more times than PSG (three games) in the tournament proper of UEFA competitions.
Messi is facing Leipzig for the first time. He has scored 17 goals in as many games against five different German teams but was shut out by Bayern in his previous two.
RB Leipzig have won just three of their last ten competitive games.
In all competitions this season, they have scored 25 times and conceded 21 goals.
Their top striker, Christopher Nkunku, came through the PSG youth ranks, making 78 senior appearances for the club before joining Leipzig in summer 2019.
Head to head
Both teams have met four times in the past, and both have nothing to separate them with two wins apiece.
RB Leipzig: D-L-W-L-W
After beating Manchester City in their last UCL game, Paris Saint-Germain welcome RB Leipzig to the Parc des Princes looking to pick up their second consecutive home win in the UCL this season.
The Parisians come into this game on the back of a 2-1 win over Gerald Baticle’s Angers in Ligue 1. Goals from Danilo Pereira and Kylian Mbappe ensured victory for Mauricio Pochettino’s side who are sitting top of Ligue 1 and also top of their UCL group, with four points.
They will head into this tie full of confidence as they possess a formidable home record in the UCL having lost just one of their last 28 home matches in group stages (W22, D5).
Pochettino’s side also have one of the most devastating attacks in Europe and are going into this match with an average of 2.67 goals per game at home this season. They have scored at least two goals in ten of their last 12 games, failing to score only once in that period.
They will fancy their chances of getting a couple against an RB Leipzig side still finding their feet under Jesse Marsh.
Sergio Ramos is expected to miss the game due to an ongoing injury, while Argentine forward Angel di Maria is suspended.
Possible PSG starting line-ups
Gianluigi Donnarumma, Achraf Hakimi, Marquinhos, Presnel Kimpembe, Nuno Mendes, Georginio Wijnaldum, Idrissa Gueye, Marco Verratti, Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, Neymar
After replacing Julian Nagelsmann in the summer, American coach Jesse Marsch is still trying to build his RB team to his desired standard. The former Salzburg coach has lost five of the eleven competitive games he has overseen, picking up just four wins in that period.
His side sits bottom of Group A table in the group after losing two of their opening group games with an average scoreline of 8-4.
But after recording a 1-1 draw over the weekend against Freiburg, Marsch will hope that his team can put up a fight against the French heavyweights when they travel to Paris.
However, his side cannot be backed to keep a clean sheet as 14 previous UCL matches he has overseen (at both Salzburg and Leipzig) have yielded no clean sheets.
Meanwhile, the American will be without Dutch striker Brian Brobbey, Uruguayan left-back Marcelo Saracchi, Germany international Marcel Halstenberg, and midfielder Dani Olmo.
Possible RB Leipzig starting line-ups
Peter Gulacsi, Lukas Klostermann, Mohamed Simakan, Willi Orban, Josko Gvardiol, Kevin Kampl, Konrad Laimer, Dominik Szoboszlai, Christopher Nkunku, Andre Silva, Emil Forsberg.
Although PSG are yet to find the perfect balance in their team and struggled to overcome Angers last time out, they remain the favourites to win this tie.
RB Leipzig, on the other hand, have endured a slow start under their new coach and will struggle to contain PSG’s devastating attack.
However, the Germans proved against Manchester City that if given a chance, they will cause any defence a lot of trouble.