PSG vs Liverpool Preview: Klopp's men look to secure qualification against Parisians
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PSG vs Liverpool Preview: Klopp's men look to secure qualification against Parisians

Tie of the round sees aspiring kings of Europe look to stave off the threat of elimination

David Comerford

Liverpool will look to put the humiliation of defeat to Red Star Belgrade firmly behind them and secure passage to the Champions League last-16 by beating PSG on Wednesday night.

Last season’s runners-up were deservedly beaten 2-0 after turning in a dreadful performance in the Serbian capital, but progression could still be sealed this week if results go their way.

Provided Napoli overcome Red Star at the Stadio San Paolo, Liverpool have the opportunity to knock out PSG and ensure all that’s at stake in their Matchday Six clash with Carlo Ancelotti’s men is top spot in Group C.

A late Roberto Firmino strike snatched three points for the Reds when they met in September, but Neymar and co. will be determined to exact revenge at the Parc des Princes.

PSG were forced to settle for a draw on their visit to Naples at the start of the month, but their domestic form has been quite scintillating.

After just 14 games, they are 15 points clear at the top of Ligue 1 with their 100% record still intact.

The Parisians are averaging more than three goals a game and have shipped only seven goals themselves.

They were, though, made to fight for the three points at the weekend with Edinson Cavani’s ninth-minute effort the difference as they scraped past Toulouse.

Together, Cavani, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe have scored a stunning 36 goals already this season, but Liverpool will be confident of frustrating the sizzling trio after breaking a club record with another clean sheet at Watford last weekend. The Reds have officially made their best-ever defensive start to the season.

With both sides aware that their European ambitions could well hinge on this result, it promises to be an unmissable contest.

Team news

The Merseyside Derby may be looming, but Jurgen Klopp has little choice but to field a full-strength XI.

Joe Gomez is expected return alongside Virgil van Dijk after a knock ruled him out of the game against Watford, with the remainder of the back five (Alisson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, van Dijk and Andrew Robertson) likely to keep their places.

A ragged afternoon for Jordan Henderson at Vicarage Road ended in a late dismissal, but Klopp may be tempted to hand his skipper another start in the knowledge that he will no play no part against Everton. Fabinho, Naby Keita, Georginio Wijnaldum and James Milner are all competing for slots in midfield, with Adam Lallana most likely out after picking up a minor injury.

Xherdan Shaqiri will hope to keep his place among Liverpool’s established attack after a series of impressive performances.

Sadio Mane has emerged as a concerning doubt as he grapples with illness, but Jurgen Klopp will delay his decision in the hope that the forward's health improves. 

PSG, meanwhile, are set to welcome back Neymar and Mbappe after the pair, injured on international duty, watched from the stands on Saturday. Both took full part in training on Monday.

The reigning French champions appear to have a clean bill of health.

Tuchel is likely to alter his tactics after his side were outfought at Anfield and will be boosted by the return of Marco Verratti, who missed the defeat through suspension. 

The Italian should slot into defensive midfield alongside Adrien Rabiot.

Tuchel selected a back five against Toulouse but is expected to return to a four-man defence for this one, with Marquinhos and Presnel Kimpembe intriguingly tipped to get the nod over the vastly experienced Thiago Silva.

Predicted line-ups

PSG: Areola; Meunier, Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Bernat; Rabiot, Verratti; Mbappe, Neymar, Di Maria; Cavani

Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Fabinho; Shaqiri, Firmino, Mane; Salah