If Liverpool Win Champions League Midfield Battle Then They’ll Beat PSG

With Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino on one side and Kylian Mbappe, Edinson Cavani and Neymar on the other, plenty of people are expecting a high scoring game at Anfield tonight as Liverpool host PSG in the Champions League.

Both clubs have talented German bosses that like to oversee exciting, attacking football and both teams have won all their opening league fixtures. It really should be an entertaining match (let’s hope I’ve haven’t just jinxed it!).

For me, the home side should have the upper hand as long as they win the midfield battle.

The two European giants have favoured the 4-3-3 formation so far this term. In said formation, winning the midfield area could prove vital in gaining the victory.

I think Liverpool edge it in the engine room as they’ve got harder working players.

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp has very strong options to choose from:

James Milner has been in sensational form at the beginning of this campaign. The veteran always seems to have the energy to run all game, putting in an endless amount of tackles and passes. He’ll press the opposition and won’t give them a minute to think. No player in last season’s Champions League bettered Milner’s eight assists stat.

Club captain Jordan Henderson is another one that gives his all. He keeps the ball efficiently and is another one that doesn’t mind putting a foot in and winning the ball back for his side. The English international is also good in the air and that could be advantageous as PSG aren’t the best in aerial duels.

Dutch internationalist Georginio Wijnaldum is another midfielder that has a strong work ethic. The twenty-seven year old has the ability to get forward and grab a goal. He’s been an ever present in the Premier League so far this term and he’s managed a 92.7% passing success rate in those five outings.

In new signing Naby Keita, Liverpool have another hard worker but the Guinean also has a keen eye for a creative pass. He’s also quick enough to join in counter attacks and become a threat in the last third. The former RB Leipzig man has the energy to get from box to box and that could be extremely important in big European nights.

Liverpool have got another new boy in Fabinho but the Brazilian hasn’t been used yet thus far this term. I’ve stated before that I believe Klopp might use the former AS Monaco man more in the Champions League as he get’s used to life in England. He knows PSG well after his time in Ligue 1 and he offers more defensively. Fabinho is very good at the keeping the ball and a threat when taking set-pieces.

In the opposing team, PSG look at bit frail in that midfield area.

Adrien Rabiot has started this campaign well. He’s winning his fair share of tackles and the Frenchman also possesses a 93% passing success rate. At the moment, Adrien seems to be the main man in the French campions midfield.

Italian international Marco Verratti has just returned to the team and can be another one that makes the team tick but alas the deep lying playmaker is suspended for this tie and will be sorely missed by his teammates.

Veteran middle-man Lassana Diarra has made two appearances during this campaign and he’s still a bit too erratic for my liking. He can commit too many fouls and that usually sees him receiving more bookings than one would like.

Central defender Marquinhos has played a few times in midfield this season and he’s not really convinced. His unfamiliarity in the role has meant that French side have lacked balance.

PSG boss Thomas Tuchel also has a few talented youngsters he can call upon but that could be risky in an environment like Anfield under the lights.

If Jurgen Klopp can get his game plan right, then I fully expect Liverpool to have too much for PSG in the midfield department.

The Reds seem to have the legs, the work ethic and the tactical nous to provide their opponents with some tough questions.

That doesn’t mean that the English side can switch off for a second. One slip up could be pounced upon by Messrs Mbappe, Cavani and Neymar!

It really should be an intriguing and thrilling encounter and I think Liverpool should just about edge it.

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