Thomas Tuchel and the PSG players will have their eyes riveted on their television screens this Thursday evening. They will follow from a distance the meeting between Leipzig and Atlético de Madrid which will be played at the José-Avalade stadium a few kilometers from their plush hotel on the banks of the Tagus.
The Parisians will indeed meet the winner of this meeting this next Tuesday in the semi-final of the Champions League. They should certainly have a little preference for the Germans, a priori more affordable. On paper anyway.
The Germans without their striker
For the first quarter-final of the Champions League in its history, the ambitious team from East Germany is indeed without its No. 1 asset. Timo Werner, the man with 34 goals this season, has indeed joined Chelsea in mid-June and declined the proposal of his future ex-club to extend his contract to complete the European adventure.
A big blow for the men of Julian Nagelsmann, who counts on Yussuf Poulsen to try to make forget his main attacking player. “We know that we cannot completely replace Timo,” admitted the Danish striker. But I know the coach has a lot of ideas on how we can adapt ”.
The 32-year-old coach, considered a disciple of Pep Guardiola since his accession to the elite at only 28 years old with Hoffenheim, can nevertheless count in Lisbon on his young French armada. The two defenders of the French team hopes Dayot Upamecano and Nordi Mukiele have thus become basic men in the organization of the German team.
The former Parisian Christopher Nkunku has also succeeded perfectly in his integration since his arrival from PSG last summer for 13 million euros. Author of five goals and sixteen assists in 42 appearances, the former titi dreams of returning to his training club next Tuesday.
The Madrilenians on a good series
This will require debunking a successful Atlético de Madrid team. The Colchoneros indeed arrive full of confidence in the city where they lost the final of the Champions League in 2014 against Real Madrid. They have just chained seven wins to four draws in eleven games played since the resumption of La Liga. In total, Diego Simeone’s men have not lost for 18 games.
Obviously not disturbed by the two positive players for Covid 19 and who remained in Spain, the Madrilenians want to take advantage of the momentum started for several months with this team largely overhauled for two seasons.
After the departures of Antoine Griezmann, Lucas Hernandez, Diego Godin or Filipe Luis, Atlético seems to have found the right alchemy with the arrivals of Alvaro Morata, Renan Lodi, Kieran Trippier or the young Portuguese prodigy Joao Felix, recruited for 126 M € at Benfica last year. From there to believe in his star and go and win a third Champions League final in six years? For that, it will be necessary to remove the danger Leipzig and to beat the PSG in a match with the delicious flavor.