The Champions League quarter-final kicks off tonight in Lisbon after the concluding round of 16 matches were completed last week.
Manchester City, Lyon, Barcelona, and Bayern Munich all sealed their quarter-final spots in the return fixture.
The completion of the remaining games left to be concluded in the round of 16 gave birth to the following last eight matchups with Atalanta, Atlético, Barcelona, Bayern, Leipzig, Lyon, Manchester City, and Paris qualifying for this season’s UEFA Champions League quarter-finals.
Quater finals fixtures
Wednesday 12 August: Atalanta vs Paris
Thursday 13 August: Leipzig vs Atlético
Friday 14 August: Barcelona vs Bayern
Saturday 15 August: Manchester City vs Lyon
- Ronaldo’s brace not enough to push Juventus through to the last eight of the Champions League
- Manchester City through to Champions League last eight after doing the double over Madrid
- Lewandoski inspires Bayern Munich to a 4-1 win over Chelsea
- Barcelona are through to the last eight after a convincing win over Napoli
Atalanta, who are Champions League debutants, have been this season’s surprise package and believe it or not, teams are wary of the side.
Their manager, Gian Piero Gasperini, has been quoted as saying they are extra motivated by the suffering in the club’s home city of Bergamo following the coronavirus outbreak.
“We know the level of expectation that there is around this match, and how much passion there is for Atalanta in Bergamo and the surrounding province,” says Gasperini.
“There is extra motivation for us after what has happened. We have to represent our city in the best possible way and give the people something to smile about.”
Bergamo, near Milan in northern Italy, was one of the worst-hit regions in Italy when the coronavirus pandemic broke out earlier in the year.
Atalanta also finished third in the Serie A for the second successive season and Gasperini says his players are in “great condition“.
“We have shown that without being a big club or having massive investment it is possible to do well in the Champions League with passion, good football, and desire,” although they would be without midfielder Josip Ilicic because of personal reasons.
The Slovenian scored all four goals in the 4-3 win at Valencia in the last-16 second leg.
Paris Saint Germain, on the other hand, has not reached the semi-finals of Europe’s elite club competition since the Qatari takeover of the club in 2011 and would avoid any slip-ups at this stage.
Manager of the side, Thomas Tuchel, has revealed that Kylian Mbappe could make a return for the side after suffering an injury in the French Cup final.
The French superstar forward has recovered from an ankle injury and boss Thomas Tuchel says he will feature in Lisbon if “nothing extraordinary happens”. He might have to come on from the bench suggests Tuchel.
“We are really pleased to have the possibility of finishing the match with Kylian on the pitch,” says Tuchel.
“That gives Neymar someone who likes playing alongside him.”
Stats and facts going into the match (Backed by Opta)
- This will be the first competitive game between Atalanta and Paris St-Germain. Atalanta’s only previous encounter with a French club in European competition was against Lyon in the 2017-18 Europa League group stages – the Bergamo side drew 1-1 in France and won 1-0 at home.
- PSG have never won a game against Italian opposition in the Champions League (D4 L2).
- PSG have not reached the last four of the competition since the 1994-95 season.
- The French giants have scored in their past 32 Champions League games, currently the longest run in the competition.
- Atalanta are the first debutants to reach the quarter-finals of the competition since Leicester City in 2016-17 and the first Italian side to do so since Lazio in the 1999-00 campaign.
- Atalanta have won their past four Champions League games, the longest current run alongside Bayern Munich.
- The Serie A side have conceded more goals than any other team left in this season’s competition (16 in eight games).
Atalanta 2 – 2 PSG