Paris will know … or not. At the end of the draw for the final tournament of the Champions League which takes place this Friday afternoon in Nyon (Switzerland), PSG should know the name of its future opponent for the quarter-finals of this competition, or at least the two clubs he could face.
It is the subtlety of this draw – and without any representative of the teams concerned – that comes at a time when the eight qualified have not yet been determined. Like Lyon, which will play its eighth-finals return on the Juventus field (1-0 for OL on the outward journey), six other clubs have yet to decide.
And there is heavy! Bayern Munich 3-0 first leg winners at Chelsea, Real Madrid beaten at home by Manchester City (1-2) and Barcelona draw (1-1) at Naples, have yet to do battle on Friday 7 and Saturday August 8. These meetings, which UEFA had planned to organize in Lisbon where the final tournament will take place from 12 to 23 August, will ultimately take place in the stadiums where they were scheduled, but without spectators.
In the other part of the table, the potential opponents of PSG (and perhaps of Lyon) are already known and are called Atlético Madrid, Leipzig and Atalanta Bergamo. The last two mentioned appear on paper as teams in the ropes of PSG. Both Leipzig and Bergamo are not formations broken in the quarter-finals of the Champions League that Paris finds after three years of scarcity.
However, we must be wary of the Germans and Italians who have achieved or are carrying out high-quality championships with a 3rd place in the Bundesliga for Leipzig under the impetus in particular of the former Parisian Christopher Nkunku (5 goals, 16 assists). For its part, Bergamo remains on 9 successes in a row in Serie A, and temporarily occupies the 3rd place of the table after having spent 8 goals in Valencia in the round of 16 (4-1 and 4-3 away). Especially since in a dry match, everything is possible and the calculation will not really be in order.
Able to keep up with the physical rhythm?
Finally, and it is the charm of this integral draw which will also allow us to project ourselves into the semi-finals, Paris and Lyon could find themselves face to face next August in Lisbon. Let us admit that this Franco-French opposition would not lack salt, after the passing of arms, last Tuesday, between the two sports directors Junhino and Leonardo about Neymar, and the repeated spikes of Jean-Michel Aulas on the economic model of capital club.
Would this be a bad draw for Paris? Not really if we refer to statistics. On the last 10 confrontations between the two clubs, PSG has won 8 times for 2 defeats (1-2 each time) at Groupama Stadium. The final of the League Cup between the two teams on July 31 will inform observers and staff on the physical and technical level of the two French candidates still in the running.
Because Paris – for Lyon you will have to wait – advances in this tournament with a procession of questions ranging from its ability to maintain the rhythm of a match every 3 or 4 days in the event of qualification, to its adaptation to very specific organizational conditions. UEFA has indeed confirmed this Friday that the meetings – health crisis requires – will all take place without an audience. Twenty-seven years after Didier Deschamps’ Marseille, the captain of a French team could raise the Champions League in an empty stadium on Sunday evening August 23, when the last summer visitors will return to their home country. Strange competition at the heart of an equally singular period.