Thomas Tuchel has confirmed that PSG will not be playing 4-4-2 tonight, though whether they line up as 3-4-3 or 4-3-3 remains to be seen. There’s definitely a front three. I think.
The night’s first key question: does Rio Ferdinand always have such a glittery beard?
Some Borussia-based news from earlier: the club announced the permanent signing of Emre Can, who has agreed a four-and-a-half-year contract. He had joined on loan from Juventus last month with an option to buy for £21m.
The team sheets are in, and the names upon them are these:
Borussia Dortmund: Burki, Piszczek, Hummels, Zagadou, Hakimi, Can, Witsel, Guerreiro, Sancho, Haland, Hazard. Subs: Dahoud, Gotze, Schulz, Akanji, Schmelzer, Reyna, Hitz.
Paris Saint-Germain: Navas, Meunier, Thiago Silva, Kimpembe, Kurzawa, Gueye, Marquinhos, Verratti, Di Maria, Mbappe, Neymar. Subs: Kehrer, Cavani, Sergio Rico, Icardi, Sarabia, Draxler, Nianzou Kouassi.
Referee: Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz.
Will this finally be the year for Paris Saint-Germain? Ten points clear at the top of Ligue 1, they almost certainly have another domestic title coming their way, but their pursuit of European glory has so far remained unfulfilled. If winning is a habit they should be just fine, given that they last lost a game in any competition on the first day of November, when they stumbled 2-1 at Dijon, while Borussia Dortmund have lost two of their last three in league and cup. Curiously, word on the street is that PSG will rip up their tactical template and play without a back four for the first time this season in order to mirror Borussia’s 3-4-3, which seems a big call on the part of Thomas Tuchel, who will already be under the microscope as he comes up agaisnt the club he coached from 2015 to 2017.
You will gather from the above that Neymar is back, having missed PSG’s last four games. “Neymar is very, very good, but there is also Mbappe or [Angel] Di Maria. I could count 10 players,” said Lucien Favre, when asked for his thoughts on the issue. In other words, he knows his side are in for a tough night, which is why he was talking up the appeal of low-scoring football last night. “I prefer to see a nice game, but sometimes a nice game is about good defensive play,” he added. “Sometimes I have nothing against winning 1-0 or playing a 0-0. If there is an offensive style of play, people are happy – but not always the coaches.”
Here’s hoping for a match that makes us all happy tonight.