PSG vs Borussia Dortmund – UEFA Champions League semifinals

PSG vs Borussia Dortmund - UEFA Champions League Semifinals

Two goliaths of European football meet in what should be a barnstorming affair across two legs in Paris and Dortmund, and a rematch of the group stage match-up earlier in the competition. 

The French giants, and newly-crowned Ligue 1 champions, dispatched a youthful Barcelona side in the quarter-finals. Overturning a 3-2 first-leg deficit, they overpowered the Catalan side 4-1 in the return leg to skate through to the semi-finals. 

Meanwhile, Borussia Dortmund overcame Atletico Madrid in the tie of the round, winning 5-4 on aggregate thanks to goals from Sebastian Haller, Julian Brandt, Ian Maatsen, Niclas Füllkrug, and Marcel Sabitzer. 

Will it be French flair or German efficiency? The rare genius of Kylian Mbappe or the guile of Jadon Sancho? 

We break down the action ahead of the two legs below. 

First Leg – Venue, Date, and Key Details

The first leg gets under way from  20:00 (GMT) on Wednesday 31st April at the Westfalenstadion, a stadium renowned for the Yellow Wall, or “Gelbe Wand” in German. It is a famous  standing section of the Signal Iduna Park stadium dedicated to passionate and loyal fans, and can generate intimidating and eye-boggling atmospheres. 

It can prove a cauldron too hot to handle for many teams, and PSG can attest to that, having not won there in this competition as of yet (drawn one, lost one). 

However, home advantage is always deemed to be more important on the return leg, which belongs to PSG. 

Second Leg – Venue, Date, and Key Details

The return leg will take place  from  20:00 (GMT) on Tuesday 7th May at the Parc des Princes, a venue where Dortmund have not scored in three separate appearances. 

Having home advantage on the second leg is always seen as a real benefit, especially in the dying embers of a competition as grandiose as the Champions League. 

Head-to-Head History and Previous Encounters

As we allude to above, the head-to-head record slants in PSG’s favour. 

Across the six contests between the two, PSG have won twice, Borussia Dortmund once, and there were three ties. 

Tactical Analysis and Key Matchups

In the four games leading up to the first leg, PSG scored 15 goals, which is a sign of the sort of firepower they have in the tank. 

It could be a case of attack vs defence for much of the night, with Borussia Dortmund attempting to pick off PSG on the counter. 

Defensively, it hasn’t been pretty of late for Borussia Dortmund. 

They failed to keep a clean sheet in the five games leading up to the first leg of the semi-final. 

One thing is for sure – there should be goals. 

The last five games involving Dortmund have spawned 19 goals, while the last five games involving PSG have spawned 21 goals. 

Player Form and Impact

A lot of the drama will come down to whether the Borussia Dortmund backline can cope with the speed, skill, and directness of Mbappe. 

In a new era that is shorn of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, Mbappe leads the charge as among the most potent, exciting, and enjoyable players to watch. 

So far this season, he has scored 26 goals in Ligue 1 and eight goals in the Champions League – and he hasn’t even been starting many games this campaign due to the public contract situation and public flirtation with Real Madrid. 

He’s the one Dortmund need to stop. 

For PSG, they will need to be fearful of a rejuvenated Jadon Sancho, who has been in good form since his loan move from Manchester United in January. Can he be the focal point once again?

Predictions and Expectations

Hard to see how Borussia Dortmund can upset the apple cart across the two legs. We are backing Mbappe and co to secure their spot in the final to give their talisman the chance for a memorable swansong. 

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