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Champions League: history, challenges, form… Five questions before PSG-Dortmund

“It’s the start of serious things,” said Lucas Hernandez on Friday, after PSG-Nice (2-3).

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Champions League: history, challenges, form… Five questions before PSG-Dortmund

“It’s the start of serious things,” said Lucas Hernandez on Friday, after PSG-Nice (2-3). PSG returns to the Champions League against Dortmund this Tuesday (9 p.m., Canal), at the Parc des Princes, during one of the shocks of this first day of the group stage. There will be others, including AC Milan-Newcastle at the same time and in the same group F, but also an expected duel between Bayern Munich and Manchester United on Wednesday (9 p.m.) in group A. PSG-Dortmund, In any case, it is the first European test of the season for Luis Enrique's men.

Also read: Champions League: at what time and on which channel to watch PSG-Dortmund?

PSG has often crossed paths with German clubs on the European scene, from Leipzig to Schalke 04, via Leverkusen, Wolfsburg and of course Bayern, executioner of Christophe Galtier's men in the round of 16 of C1 last season. Bayern is the club that Paris has faced the most in its history (13 matches), tied with FC Barcelona. And notably in the final, in 2020, in Lisbon (0-1 defeat). To reach the Final 8, Paris-SG had precisely dismissed Borussia Dortmund in the 8th that year, just before the cut linked to Covid-19. 2-1 defeat in front of the Yellow Wall at the Westfalenstadion on the first leg, before a 2-0 success in an empty Park on the return but boiling away. Lunar. Goals from Neymar and Juan Bernat, who left for other lands this summer. The two clubs had already faced each other in 2010, in the Europa League group stage (0-0 in Paris, 1-1 in Dortmund). Parisian record against the Germans? 14 wins, three draws and 10 defeats (27 matches). Note that there are two former BVB players in Paris, Achraf Hakimi and Ousmane Dembélé. There is also a former Parisian in Dortmund, Thomas Meunier. The Belgian is not, however, on Borussia's list for the 'Champions'.

Given the composition of Group F, each match is important. For the Parisians, it is therefore appropriate to refuel at home against Dortmund, Milan and Newcastle, which was not the case last year against Benfica (1-1). With the result that we know: the Lisbon club finished at the top of the group, sending Paris into the clutches of Bayern in the 8th. This time, this kind of misstep could have even more unfortunate consequences. Certainly, PSG leaves with the favor of the forecasts in this group, but the three other teams can also claim the round of 16. In summary, there is no time to lose for Luis Enrique's men, so as not to be part of the two teams which will remain at the gates of the 8th in this very high level and very homogeneous group.

“We will play better on Tuesday,” promised Luis Enrique after Nice last Friday. It would be better... Despite two false successes against Lens and Lyon, PSG is still struggling to reconcile the aspirations of its coach and the qualities of its players. Unstable balance, defensive feverishness and offensive inefficiency, so many faults which plagued Paris against the Aiglons (2-3). The returns of Marquinhos and Manuel Ugarte in the 11 should help resolve a certain number of problems. For Dortmund, it's not much brighter, despite a victory snatched away at Freiburg (2-4) on Saturday, 11 against 10. Borussia, still undefeated in the Bundesliga (2 wins, 2 draws) is struggling to show real strength collective. Physically, it's not like that either. Edin Terzic's team must still forget Jude Bellingham, who left for Real Madrid this summer, but also and above all erase the immense disappointment of the title lost on the last day last season. Clearly, these are two teams who have not (yet?) exploited their full potential.

On the PSG side, one name stands out: Kylian Mbappé, author of seven of the ten Parisian goals since the start of the season. With the shortcomings highlighted on Friday, Marquinhos and Manuel Ugarte are essential in their respective registers, they who started on the bench against Nice after their late return from selection. No worries for Marquinhos, who will return to his place in the central hinge this Tuesday. What about Ugarte? According to RMC, the Uruguayan midfielder was injured in training on Monday and is uncertain. Suspense… On the Dortmund side, “those who run the shop are Gregor Kobel in the goals, he has made monumental saves since the start of the season, Mats Hummels who tries to plug the gaps behind and Donyell Malen who makes the difference ahead on exploits. But it is too little to have a real collective force emerging,” as analyzed by beIN SPORTS Germany consultant Patrick Guillou.

Pretty good. Since the start of the QSI era, Paris Saint-Germain has won six of its eleven inaugural matches in the Champions League (Dynamo Kiev, Olympiakos, Malmö, Celtic Glasgow, Real Madrid, Juventus Turin), for three draws (Ajax Amsterdam , Arsenal, Bruges) and two defeats (Liverpool, Manchester United). To be completely complete, the Rouge et Bleu began their European campaign with a 4-0 success at Differdange in 2011, a few weeks after switching to the Qatari flag, but it was in the preliminary round of the Europa League. What will happen this Tuesday?

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