PSG vs Borussia Dortmund: preview, team news, confirmed line-ups
Thomas Tuchel is aiming to take PSG past the last 16 of the Champions League for the first time since 2015-16 while his successor at Dortmund, Lucien Favre, will be out to mastermind more misery for the Parisians.
For the vast majority of teams, a season is defined by the sum of total achievements between August and May, based on relative resources and ambitions. For PSG in recent seasons, success or failure has been distilled into 180 minutes in February and March, concretely in the last 16 of the Champions League.
The Parisians have failed to get past the first knock-out stage of Europe's elite club competition for the past three seasons, last reaching the quarter-finals in 2015-16. They have never been further. For a club of PSG's lofty ambitions, being denied that golden card to the top table of continental football is a constant thorn in an expensively assembled side.
To add insult to injury, PSG's eliminations have become increasingly farcical. A 4-0 thrashing of Barcelona in 2016-17 should have guaranteed progress but Unai Emery's side somehow conspired to lose 6-1 at Camp Nou. Real Madrid's period of European dominance did for PSG the following year but a transitional Manchester United under a novice Champions League coach had little to no business overturning a two-goal deficit from the opening leg at Old Trafford.
On this occasion, it is Borussia Dortmund who will aim to heap more misery on PSG and quite possibly ensure the sacking of their former manager, Thomas Tuchel. Domestic success means little to the Parisians' backers. Tuchel's window to define this campaign has been reduced to 90 minutes and he faces a side with a 2-1 advantage from the first leg.
His replacement at the Westfalenstadion, Lucien Favre, is under considerably less pressure than Tuchel. It was, perhaps, the strain that did for Emery on that famous night at Camp Nou. Tuchel must ensure he doesn't blink first against a tactically fluid Dortmund who have won six of their last 12 Bundesliga games scoring four or more times and even managed three in a defeat at Leverkusen. PSG have conceded four at Amiens and three against Bordeaux in their last three Ligue 1 outings and captain and defensive mainstay Thiago Silva will undergo a late fitness test on Wednesday.
Of considerably more concern for PSG fans is the possible absence of Kylian Mbappé, who teed Neymar up for the away goal in Germany. The France international has been struggling with a sore throat and will be assessed at the last minute.
In any case, Tuchel told PSG's in-house media that he would not be going for a 1-0, a result that would see his side through, but will attack Dortmund. That is probably wise, given PSG's defensive frailties, but will also invite the visitors to do the same. With the likes of in-form Achraf Hakimi, Erling Haaland and Jadon Sancho to contend with in a difficult to second-guess 3-2-4-1 Favre has recently favoured, it promises to a very long 90 minutes indeed for Tuchel and PSG.
PSG confirmed starting line-up vs Dortmund
Navas, Kehrer, Bernat, Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Paredes, Di María, Gueye, Neymar, Sarabia, Cavani
Borussia Dortmund confirmed starting XI vs PSG
Bürki, Zagadou, Hummels, Piszczek, Hakimi, Guerreiro, Witsel, Can, Sancho, Hazard, Haaland
PSG vs Borussia Dortmund: injuries and suspensions
PSG's main doubt was over Kylian Mbappé, who according French media underwent a test for Covid-19 on Wednesday but was given the all-clear. Having suffered from flu-like symptoms this week, he has finally been named on the bench. Thiago Silva was also a doubt after missing the Dijon game and, although Tuchel expressed his optimism that his captain will be fit, he has been left out. Thomas Meunier and Marco Verratti are both suspended.
Tuchel only has Marco Reus and Thomas Delaney missing and has named the same starting XI as he did for the opening leg in Germany.