clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Sky Blue News: PSG Prep, Nasri Speaks, and More...

It’s Champions League matchday!!!

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Paris Saint Germain v Olympique Lyonnais - Ligue 1 Uber Eats Photo by Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Bonjour! It’s matchday in Paris. Let’s get you all caught up on the latest news from Manchester City before kickoff.

PSG v Manchester City - The Opposition - Petec21 - Bitter and Blue

Petec21 takes a look at our Parisienne hosts ahead of the match.

It goes without saying really, that PSG have got one of the strongest attacks in Europe. Kylian Mbappe and Neymar were joined over the summer by Lionel Messi, although the Barcelona legend is het to score his first goal for the club. But despite having Neymar in their ranks, it is Ander Herrera who joins Mbappe at the top of the goalscoring charts, with the dup bagging four apiece. Neymar has just a solitary goal to his name so far this season.

Mbappe has attempted 23 shots from 9 matches, and a 4-goal return gives him a goal conversion rate of just 17%. Herrera’s stats are better, having scored 4 from 7 shots over the same number of games, giving him a goal conversion rate of 57%. The most lethal in the team is Pablo Sarabia, who scored with his only shot so far this season.

Assist wise, Mbappe and Herrera lead the way again. Mbappe has 4 assists but has only completed 251 passes from 302 attempted. Herrera is very much the playmaker though. From 626 passes attempted, he has completed 582 in just 9 games, giving him a pass accuracy of 93%. He has 2 assists and has created 8 chances so far.

Guardiola’s Man City vs Messi’s PSG: ‘Oil Firm Derby’ pits team ethic against individual brilliance - Stuart Brennan - Manchester Evening News

Brennan highlights the differences in philosophy of two clubs often lumped together.

Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain both tend to get lumped together as a modern football phenomenon - and tomorrow night’s clash has been predictably dubbed the Oil Firm derby.

But, while the takeovers by rich Middle East men has undoubtedly transformed the fortunes of both, the direction they have taken on the pitch - other than spending big money to achieve success - could not be more different.

And so, we see a City team funded by huge investment but founded on socialist principles - everyone pulling together, no superstars, no egos. Team is everything to Pep Guardiola, and woe betide anyone who steps out of that line.

On the other hand, PSG are a team with a split down the middle - one that has City-style team ethic, until you get to the front players, who are three world-class individuals desperately trying to find a way to work together.

Together... again – Paris Saint-Germain vs Manchester City Preview - Oli Coulson - City Report

A familiar foe with one significant new addition awaits.

City’s last trip as the away team in the Champions League was, coincidentally, to Paris Saint-Germain where after an opening 20-minute scare, Guardiola’s side won 2-1. The Blues were resounding after Marquinhos’ opening goal for PSG and put in one of their greatest performances at the Etihad in the second leg.

However, as Guardiola has said those games mean nothing now - this is a new season and with the added threat of Messi, Donnarumma, Ramos and more for the Parisians, this is an incredibly uncomfortable fixture between 2 others in Chelsea away, where City ran the game and won 1-0 and a trip to Anfield at the weekend to finish this run off. This is about as brutal as it gets.

MAHREZ HOPING CITY CAN MATCH PAST PSG EXPLOITS - George Kelsey - ManCity.com

Riyadh would like to repeat his PSG performances from a season ago.

The Algerian was on target in both legs against Mauricio Pochettino’s side, grabbing the winner at the Parc des Princes before a brace back at the Etihad Stadium secured a 4-1 aggregate triumph.

It was an historic moment for City, with the winger’s exploits helping Pep Guardiola’s men reach an inaugural Champions League final against the previous season’s runners up.

And Mahrez has called for his teammates to match the same levels of focus and intensity that were reached back in April to see us overcome the French outfit.

“Of course, it was a good day for the team firstly and me as well because I scored,” he reflected.

“But the way we played was the most important - we played with character and personality.

Pep Guardiola admits Man City don’t know how to stop Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar for PSG - Joe Bray - Manchester Evening News

Pep may be playing those mind games ahead of the match.

City did well to keep Neymar and Mbappe quiet in the Champions League semi-finals last season, but PSG have since added Messi to their ranks to become even stronger.

And Guardiola heaped praise on the three forwards as he challenged his players to work as a team to stop them.

“This amount of quality I don’t know how to stop them,” he admitted.

“They are so good, the talent all together to control is so difficult. We try to defend well without the ball and let them run when we have the ball. This is what we have to do.

“He Doesn’t Care Who You Are” - Former Man City Midfielder Discusses Working Under Pep Guardiola - Brandon Evans - City Xtra

Sami remembers his time as an opponent and a player for Pep.

After touching on his experience encountering Guardiola’s innovative tactical approach whilst facing Barcelona with Arsenal, Nasri noted:

“Then, I worked with Pep and I understood. With his organisation, you know where your teammates are at every moment, to the centimetre.”

Nasri continued, “And if you’re not where you’re meant to be, he lays into you. He doesn’t care who you are, your status or your wages, if you aren’t playing for the team, you go on the bench”.

Is Haaland To Manchester City Really a ‘Done Deal’ Or More Speculation Based On Nothing? - Petec21 - Bitter and Blue

And finally, the big name in the transfer market for City is still our Norwegian legacy.

It’s no secret that the blues tried to replace outgoing legend Sergio Aguero with England captain Harry Kane over the summer, with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy playing hardball over any potential transfer, resulting in the blues moving forward without a recognised striker in the side.

It hasn’t stopped the blues scoring 24 goals from 7 matches played and hitting at least 5 goals on four occasions. And while City have gone from strength to strength without a striker, it’s worth noting that Kane, who Levy valued at £150m, is yet to find the target in the Premier League this season.

However, a player of Haaland’s capabilities do not come round often, and with a rumoured £60m clause in his contract that becomes active in January, it’s no surprise that City have again been linked with a winter swoop.

And former Premier League striker Carlton Palmer believes a deal has already been struck between the blues and Borussia Dortmund, that will see the big striker join City in January.

“I think they’ll have probably already wrapped that deal up for the January transfer window,” Palmer told TIF. “I’d be surprised if the Haaland deal’s not done. Knowing that he’s going to be available at the end of the season, they might even give £100m for Haaland so Dortmund get an extra £40m to let him out at Christmas.”

There you have it. The match we all circled when the draw was announced is here. Come on City!!!!!!!!!!