Neymar and Mbappe fit to face Liverpool in Champions League Showdown

The PSG stars were doubts following injuries picked up on international duty but Tuchel has confirmed both are fit to start. 

Neymar limped off early in Brazil’s 1-0 win against Cameroon last week whilst French starlet Kylian Mbappe sustained a shoulder injury in their 1-0 victory against Uruguay.

Both players trained with the PSG squad on Tuesday afternoon and Tuchel later stated in his press conference that: ‘Neymar is 100 per cent fit, as is Mbappe, and they will be in the line-up tomorrow.’

This will be a huge boost to the French champions who must get a result against Liverpool to keep their Champions League title hopes alive.

Defeat for the home side at the Parc des Princes tomorrow night, provided Napoli are able to beat Red Star Belgrade at the Stadio San Paolo, will mean another disappointing early Champions League exit for PSG, who are yet to win Europe’s most prestigious trophy.

Liverpool were able to get the better of PSG when the two sides faced each other at Anfield in September, with a late Roberto Fimino goal securing the reds a 3-2 victory.

However, Klopp’s men have struggled away from home in Europe this season and losses away to Napoli and Red Star Belgrade mean Liverpool’s hopes of progressing to the round of 16 also rely on getting a result tomorrow night.

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Team News

Mbappe and Neymar trained for PSG on Tuesday morning and Tuchel confirmed the pair are fit and ready to face Liverpool on Wednesday night.

For Liverpool, Sadio Mane trained on Tuesday morning and travelled with the squad to Paris after it was reported he may miss the clash due to illness.

Klopp said: “He will be fine. If he plays, we will see, but he is fine,

“Sadio was on the plane, so if nothing happened when I left the plane and went for one-and-a-half hours to the press conference… when I saw him last he was fine.”

Joe Gomez also returns to the Liverpool squad after he missed their 3-0 victory at Vicarge road on Saturday afternoon.

Notable absentees include Adam Lallana, Nathaniel Clyne, Divock Origi and Dominic Solanke.

The reds boss said: “Adam Lallana is back in training on Thursday, but that is obviously after the game tomorrow,

“The issue is nothing anymore because he is on the way back; it was a minor muscle thing and nothing serious.

“Dom has a little groin issue, it happened in training.”

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What the managers said

The Liverpool boss looks forward to his side taking on the French champions and that believes his side are ready to get a result.

He said: “We are here, we didn’t ever think negatively about it, we were looking forward to the game in Paris.

“We don’t play here very often and it’s a big task. It’s just really exciting and the more difficult it is, the more I enjoy the preparation because you have to think about pretty much everything,

“We have to make sure that they are not that dominant against us. When we have our possession we [have to] do something smart with that. That’s all in two training sessions, actually one, today.

“The weather was not too good in Liverpool but the boys were 100 per cent focused for 60, 70 minutes on the pitch, fully concentrated and hopefully you can see that tomorrow night.”

The PSG boss highlighted the threat of Liverpool’s attacking talent: “We need to defend well against (Sadio) Mane, (Mohamed) Salah and (Roberto) Firmino.

“Firmino may play any position in attack so we have to adapt. What is key for us is to play with confidence and we play to win. A key thing for us is to pass the ball very fast and make swift decisions.”

He also demanded focus from his players as they prepare for the test of what Tuchel described as “one of the greatest teams in Europe”

He went on to say: ““There are still big steps for us and we have to make a big step tomorrow. If you search for the word ‘team’, you end up with Liverpool because they really play as one under Jurgen Klopp in every single game.

“There is a possibility we don’t win, but it is very important tomorrow we focus on winning. The bigger the game, the bigger the pressure, the more important is the focus.”

 

The last time Liverpool faced PSG in Paris was in the 1996/97 season in the Semi-Finals of the UEFA Cup Winners Cup where they suffered a 3-0 defeat.

Last year’s finalists will hope it’s a different story tomorrow night and that they’re able to secure their place in the round of 16.

Manchester United come from behind to secure 2-1 win against Juventus in Turin

A Juan Mata free-kick and an Alex Sandro own goal was enough to give Manchester United the victory at the Allianz  Stadium.

After a goal-less first half, it was former Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo with a stunning strike to put the home side ahead.

Leonardo Bonucci found the run of Ronaldo, who volleyed home with David De Gea unable to react.

But Juan Mata stepped up when it mattered and put United back on level terms with a wonderful free kick in the 86th minute.

Just three minutes later, Ashley Young curled in a dangerous cross which Wojciech Szczęsny was unable to deal with, it bounced off Alex Sandro and into the back of the net.

The Reds now sit second in Group H, just two points behind leaders Juventus.

Juventus have had an impressive start to their 18/19 Champions League campaign, winning all three of their previous fixtures and not conceding a single goal.

The home side had their chances throughout the first half, their best coming from a Ronaldo pull-back in the 35th minute which saw Sami Khedira’s shot bounce off the post.

The defeat would’ve been a huge disappointment to Allegri’s side after a dominant display and a world-class strike from their star man, Ronaldo.

But as we’ve seen a lot so far this season, Mourinho’s side dug deep and were able to capitalise on late chances, securing an 89th minute winner.

The United boss spoke very highly of his players after the game: “I know millions are happy with the win. But I respect Juventus and the quality they have. I am really proud of my boys because they did everything.”

“We had to come and not feel inferior. We were in a situation where we thought we needed to go to the last second of the match. The boys started really well and things were under control.”

Man of the Match: Cristiano Ronaldo – despite his side suffering an unfortunate defeat, it was a moment of brilliance from the Portuguese international that put them ahead.

After signing for Juventus for £99.2m in the summer, Ronaldo proved yet again why he is regarded as the best in the world, with his stunning volley winning him his first goal for the Italian side in the Champions League.

Ronaldo was a constant threat, but it was a testament to the solid defensive work from the Reds that nothing came from the chances.

 

Liverpool’s Champions League progression in doubt following 2-0 defeat against Red Star Belgrade

Liverpool were unable to make a come back following two first-half goals from Red Star’s Pavkov.

The reds first big chance of the game in the 17th minute, but Klopp’s men were left to rue Sturridge’s missed effort from close range.

5 minutes later, Red Star broke the deadlock as Marin picked out the head of Pavkov from a corner, who was able to beat Alisson.

Things quickly got worse as Pavkov shrugged off Georginio Wijnaldum less than 10 minutes later and fired a 25-yard thunderbolt straight past the Liverpool keeper.

Despite two half-time changes which saw Daniel Sturridge and Trent Alexander-Arnold subbed off for Roberto Firmino and Joe Gomez, Liverpool were unable to get themselves back into the game.

The Liverpool boss admitted after the game “The boys are very disappointed, I’m very disappointed and we have to do better.

“We have to do better because we can do better, but tonight it is too late.

“It is not what we wanted and we will go for the other two games 100 per cent. We all have to deal with it now.”

It was a brilliant display from the home side, who earned their first victory in the Champions League this season.

A win at Red Star would’ve put the reds in a strong position to qualify from Group C.

Liverpool must now get results away to Paris-Saint-Germain and at home to Napoli to ensure they are to progress into the round of 16, which won’t be an easy task.

Liverpool never do it the easy way, do they?

Man of the match – Milan Pavkov (Red Star Belgrade)

Two goals from the forward saw Red Star Belgrade become the first Serbian side to win a Champions League group game.

Liverpool Player Ratings:

Alisson (5), Trent Alexander Arnold (4), Joel Matip (5), Virgil Van Dijk (6), Andy Robertson (6), Georginio Wijnaldum (4), James Milner (4), Adam Lallana (4), Daniel Sturridge (4), Mohamed Salah (5), Sadio Mane (5)

Subs: Joe Gomez (6), Roberto Firmino (5), Divock Origi (5)

Tottenham vs PSV Match Preview: UEFA Champions League

Spurs will be looking to pick up their first 3 points in Group B after 4 matches with a victory over PSV, to maintain their slim hopes of qualification from group B to the knockout stages.

PSV find themselves in the same situation as Tottenham – winless in 3 UCL group games so far.

Hirving Lozano, who scored the Dutch side’s equaliser against Spurs in Eindhoven, remains the man to watch.

The Mexican has scored nine goals in 16 games so far this term.

So this game at Wembley at 8pm tonight is a must-win for both teams to keep their slim hopes of qualification alive as either/both Barcelona or Inter Milan will drop points tonight as they play each other in Milan at the San Siro.

Spurs have one point from three games and will be eliminated if they lose on Tuesday and Inter Milan beat Barcelona.

Spanish side Barca top the group on nine points, three ahead of second-placed Inter Milan of Italy. PSV’s only point comes courtesy of the draw with Spurs in the Netherlands on 24 October.

One of the main talking points ahead of the game was the awful state of the Wembley pitch (Spurs’ temporary home), and there were suggestions that the game may not go ahead, however, it was confirmed yesterday by UEFA confirmed that the pitch was ok for tonight’s game so that is a relief.

Sports analytics have confirmed that Spurs only have a 15% chance of qualifying from their group! That is also the same for PSV before this game.

Both teams form in UCL Group B so Far…

Tottenham – L/L/D

PSV- L/L/D

Team News

It is believed that Deli Alli could be making a return to the Tottenham lineup after he’s been sidelined with a hamstring injury, the England international trained on Monday.

Mousa Dembele was withdrawn early during Tottenham’s 3-2 victory against Wolves on Saturday with an ankle injury.

He joins Eric Dier, Jan Vertonghen, Danny Rose and suspended goalkeeper Hugo Lloris who will all miss the clash against PSV on Tuesday night.

PSV also welcome back fit-again winger Steven Bergwijn, who missed the reverse fixture.

Eindhoven only injury in the whole squad is Ryan Thomas who is out with a knee injury and isn’t expected to return until may 2019. So other than him, PSV have a full squad to pick from.

Manager Comments

Tottenham

Pochettino insists it will not be embarrassing if Tottenham are knocked out.

“When you compete at that level against Inter Milan or PSV, of course Barcelona, it is not easy to go to the next stage of the Champions League and qualify,” he said.

“When you are competitive at that level, if you are not good enough, if you are not clinical, or defend poorly like in the last minute in the Inter Milan game… If you don’t deserve to go, it’s disappointing but not embarrassing.

“We need to do our job. We want to be in the next stage – it’s not only that we need the help of Barcelona winning the game; we need to do our job and we need to perform as well.

“I think it’s a great opportunity to get the three points and to have the hope to go to the next stage – and then we have Inter Milan here and play the last game in Barcelona. Maybe if they win it can help us, but we are the most important thing.”

PSV

PSV have been unstoppable in their domestic league so far this season, with Mark van Bommel’s side having won all 11 of their Eredivisie games to sit five points clear at the summit. They have scored 39 goals and conceded only four.

“It won’t be an easy game, it is a must-win for Spurs but if we want to do something as well we have to win as well. Both teams will want to win, so let’s enjoy,” said Van Bommel.

“I played here with Holland against England, we won, that’s a very good memory. It’s the history of football so everybody loves to play at Wembley.”

Match Stats/head-to-head record

Match stats

Head to head

  • Spurs last hosted PSV in a European match in March 2008 at White Hart Lane in the UEFA Cup – they lost 0-1 to a goal from Jefferson Farfan.
  • PSV’s 1-0 away win over Spurs in the 2007-08 UEFA Cup is their last away win in England – they’ve lost to Liverpool (1-3 in October 2008) and drawn with Manchester United (0-0 in November 2015) since then.

Tottenham

  • Spurs are winless in five Champions League matches (D2 L3) – their longest ever winless run in major European competition.
  • Three of the five English sides to achieve just one point or fewer from their opening three Champions League group stage games went on to qualify for the next round – Newcastle United in 2002-03, Arsenal in 2003-04 and Liverpool in 2007-08.
  • Spurs striker Harry Kane has the best goals per game ratio of any player in Champions League history to play at least 10 matches in the competition (0.85 – 11 goals in 13 matches).
  • None of Spurs’ 10 home Champions League group stage matches have ended as draws – they’ve won seven and lost three.

PSV

  • PSV have won none of their last 11 Champions League matches (D5 L6) since winning 2-1 against CSKA Moscow in December 2015.
  • Only Red Star Belgrade (75) have faced more shots in this season’s Champions League than PSV (69), with the Dutch side facing at least 20 in each of their three matches.
  • PSV are the first Dutch club side to appear at Wembley since June 1971, when Ajax won 2-0 against Panathinaikos in that season’s European Cup final.
  • Should PSV win, Spurs could become the second English team that the Dutch side have beaten more than once in away European games – they’ve also beaten Leeds United twice.

Betting Odds/ My Prediction

Bet 365 have made Spurs favourite for this encounter at Wembley tonight, pricing a Tottenham win at 4/11. A draw between these two sides is no good for either side, but Bet 365 are pricing a draw at 9/2. A PSV win is being priced at 8/1.

My prediction for this game is a tight 2-1 Tottenham win. It will be a hard game for Spurs, but i think that they will just about have enough quality to overcome PSV and maintain their slim chances of qualification from this group alive!

By Danyal Khan (Twitter- @DKMatchreports)

 

Portuguese giants FC Porto welcome striving Lokomotiv Moscow at the Dragao

FC Porto are top of the Champions League group D with seven points and one win away from progressing to the knock-out phase.

The Blues find themselves leading ahead of Schalke 04 by two points in group D, registering two victories and a draw up to this point. Having established a victory at Lokomotiv Moskva a fortnight ago, the Dragons want more of the same in the home game.

The visitors undertake a tough task on Tuesday 6 when Yuri Semin’s side visit the Estadio do Dragão (Dragon Stadium). Currently sitting in bottom-place and not having acquired any points thus far, having only scored one goal in their seven away Champions League matches. 

Porto has only lost two of their last 13 meetings against Russian sides back in 2013 when they were eliminated by FC Zenit in the two-legs. However, failed to score in all four of their Champions League games against the Russians, yet lost only two of their 14 home group stage fixtures.

While Semin’s group has lost five of their last seven games against Portuguese teams but were successful over Sporting Lisbon in a 3-1 victory back in September 2015. 

FC Porto predicted line-up (4-3-3): Casillas, Maxi, Militao, Felipe, Alex Telles, Oliver, Danilo, Herrera, Corona, Marega, Brahimi.

Vincent Aboubakar is confirmed to be unavailable until early next year after picking up a knee injury in September and Soares has been ruled out of the competition due to suffering from a previous injury.

Lokomotiv Moscow predicted line-up (4-2-3-1): Guilherme, Ignatyev, Corluka, Howedes, Idowu, Denisov, Krychowiak, Anton Miranchuk, Alexey Miranchuk, Manuel Fernandes, Eder.

Confirmed absence for Solomon Kvirkvelia due to suspension and Kolomeytsev, who is recovering from a thigh injury.

It is not certain Maciej Rybus is fit to take part in the clash after undertaking a thigh injury.

FC Porto enters this match as clear favourites and in a good run of form. Consequently, Moscow will fight hard to seek those three points that would keep them alive in the tournament. 

Should Porto prevail over Lokomotiv Moskva, the Portuguese side could give themselves a six-point lead over the third-placed in the table. Schalke 04 (2nd place/5 points) and Galatasaray, (3rd place/4 points) meet in Germany the same evening.

The Dragons confirmed their 23rd presence in the competition this year, the same as Barcelona and Real Madrid.

5TH NOVEMBER 2018

 

Red Star Belgrade V Liverpool: Match Preview

Liverpool will remain top of Champions League Group C should they win against Red Star Belgrade on Tuesday afternoon.

Following a 4-0 victory over Red Star at Anfield last month, Liverpool will look to replicate such a positive result when they take on the Serbian side at the Rajko Mitić Stadium on Tuesday.

Liverpool have won two of their three Group C games so far, whilst the home side have only managed a draw against Napoli and they currently sit bottom of the table.

Team News

Liverpool forward Xherdan Shaqiri has not travelled with the Liverpool squad to Serbia, due to his Albanian heritage and the hostile reception he would likely receive. The Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp, stated that “We have heard and read the speculation and talk about what kind of reception Shaq would receive and although we have no idea what would happen, we want to go there and be focused 100% on football and not have to think about anything else,”

“We are keen to be respectful and keen to avoid any distractions. So, for that reason, Shaq is not involved and he accepts and understands this.”

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Source: BBC Sport

Reds midfielder Naby Keita returns to the squad, following a hamstring injury that saw him sidelined for five games, however, Jordan Henderson appears to still be nursing an injury as he wasn’t included.

Dejan Lovren returns after he wasn’t involved in Liverpool’s 1-1 draw against Arsenal at the weekend, but right-back Nathaniel Clyne remains on Merseyside as he recovers from illness.

For Red Star, Striker Richmond Boakye hasn’t played since their 4-0 defeat at Anfield and remains a doubt, but the Serbian champions are boosted by the return of attacker Marko Marin.

Manager Quotes

Red Star Belgrade coach Vladan Milojevic looks forward to the red’s arrival, stating that “One of the best teams in Europe and the world comes to us. I think it will be a real spectacle in the stadium and an atmosphere awaits us that only our fans can create.”

He was full of respect for Klopp’s side, going on to say “Liverpool are a favourite, no matter what. They are one of the main contenders to win the Champions League; the team is made to attack for the title.”

“We need to be concentrated all the time because every pause and the smallest little thing is immediately punished.”

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Source: Sky Sports

In his pre-match press conference, Jurgen Klopp spoke about the opponents “It’s the combination of atmosphere and the football they play. We were really good at Anfield, if we had been less strong they would have been in the game. We are from Liverpool so we know how important atmosphere can be.”

Match Stats

The last time Liverpool travelled to Serbia to play Red Star Belgrade in European competition was in October 1973, where they suffered a 2-1 defeat.

Liverpool have faced Red Star in Europe only three times, with their only win in this fixture being their 4-0 victory at Anfield last month.