Trial football

Can Kylian Mbappé help fire PSG to Champions League glory?

Since Oryx Qatar Sports Investments purchased Paris Saint-Germain they have seen their side win the French Ligue 1 on five occasions, the Coupe de France four times and the Coupe de la Ligue five times. However, the big one still evades France’s richest club – the Champions League.

In six campaigns in Europe’s most prestigious club cup trophy, PSG have never gone past the quarter-final stage. The club reached the final eight in four successive seasons between 2013-16 but for the past two campaigns they have been eliminated at the round of 16 – albeit by giants Barcelona and Real Madrid.

New manager Thomas Tuchel has got off to a flying start in the French capital, with his side picking up a maximum 27 points from their opening nine Ligue 1 games and opening up an eight-point lead already.

Maintaining or extending this lead would surely allow the manager to rest his star players in the second half of the season either side of important Champions League knockout ties.  That is, assuming Paris Saint-Germain reach the knockout stages.

The French champions were beaten 3-2 by Liverpool in their opening group game before taking three points in a 6-1 crushing of Red Star Belgrade. Their next two fixtures will prove crucial in their attempt to progress as they come up against Napoli home and away, with the Italian side top of the group on four points.

Despite this, Paddy Power have Paris Saint-Germain as fourth favourites, currently 8/1 in the Champions League betting odds. Only Barcelona (5/1), Manchester City (5/1) and Juventus (13/2) have shorter odds.

PSG have an abundance of talent, particularly in attack. One of those is 2018 World Cup winner, Kylian Mbappé. The 19-year-old has made an emphatic start to the new season, scoring eight goals in only five league appearances and a further two in two Champions League group matches.

Four of those league goals came in the 5-0 thrashing of Lyon earlier this month, all in the space of just 13 minutes.

Partnered with Neymar and Edinson Cavani in attack, PSG have an attacking trio capable of scaring any side. However, as shown against Liverpool last month – they haven’t been so great at the back when tested.

Thomas Tuchel has the rest of the season to adjust his side but with the likes of Mbappé and co up front, there’s no doubt they at least have the potential to go all the way.


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