“Liverpool are used to being in the Champions League and winning this trophy and it means something in the club and mentality,” Paris Saint-Germain manager Thomas Tuchel stated ahead of Les Parisiens welcoming Jurgen Klopp’s side to the Parc des Princes this week (The Telegraph).
After the first meeting between the two in Group C produced a thrilling encounter at Anfield, resulting in a last-gasp 3-2 win for the home side, much is expected of this reunion in the France capital with both sides desperate for a win to re-assert their European credentials.
Now at four games in, the group outcome is balanced most precariously, with just two points separating top (Napoli) from bottom (Red Star Belgrade) and all have a realistic incentive to progress. A loss for either side would almost certainly be detrimental to their UCL aspirations.
Tuchel is wary that for all his domestic success that his tenure which began in the summer has so far brought, he will be firmly judged on the club’s European progression. PSG are currently placed at around fifth favourites to lift Old Big Ears - 12/1 the same price as their opponents tonight, but highlights a huge advantage that Liverpool have.
The German has talked up the ‘big influence’ of his compatriot and counterpart Klopp who will be in the adjacent dugout and led Liverpool to the Champions Final in Kiev at the end of last season;
“Having Jürgen there for 3½ years with his energy - you see it. We have to make our own steps up and to grow.
“They play as a team under the big influence of Jürgen. They have created this over three years. It is an advantage, but we try to make it up.”
PSG have surpassed Tottenham’s half-a-century long record for an unblemished start to the season; their 1-0 home victory over Toulouse at the weekend wasn’t the most convincing three points but now posits them on 13 wins from 13 in the 2018/19 season.
Streaks ahead of the rest of the Ligue 1 pack, it speaks volumes when second-placed Olympique Lyonnais are as currently close to the relegation zone as they are to catching up to the league leaders.
Liverpool themselves have gone over to France on the back of a stellar 3-0 win in the Premier League over Watford, although questions remain regarding their overall performances so far this season - particularly the effectiveness of that previously immense front-line of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, and Roberto Firmino.
PSG are currently at around 11/10 to use the home advantage and take the tie tonight, with Tuchel confirming that Neymar and Kylian Mbappé are returning to the fold. Liverpool are at 29/10 (Betfair).