The Champions League continues this evening with a real humdinger in Group C as last season’s finalists Liverpool travel to the Parc Des Princes to take on Paris Saint Germain. As it stands there are just two points separating all of the teams in Group C with Liverpool and Napoli tied on 6 points, PSG in third on 5 points and Red Star Belgrade at the bottom of the table on 4 points.
Both sides know that defeat tonight will leave qualifying for the knock out nigh on impossible. Should Liverpool pick up three points then PSG will be out of this season’s tournament assuming Napoli pick up three points against Red Star. Whilst a PSG victory will see Liverpool needing a victory over Napoli in game week 6 and Red Star to beat PSG. All of this means tonight’s game will be highly pressured.
The variety of permutations have been known since the results in game week 4 and the pressure ratcheted up in France in the past week with huge fitness concerns over the superstar duo of Kylian Mbappe (£11.96) and Neymar (£15.77) who both picked up knocks in the international break. PSG manager Thomas Tuchel declared that both of the superstars are fit in the pre-game press conference last night but fans and traders will only know the truth upon the announcement of the team sheets roughly an hour before kick-off. Such was the speculation in the media that Neymar took home yesterday’s £0.05 Media Dividends despite not playing. Their inclusion will surely galvanise the French champions and set about some rotation should they not make the starting eleven, whilst could give a huge boost to Jurgen Klopp should they not start.
Liverpool will, of course, be calling upon the Egyptian superstar, Mohamed Salah (£10.50) who his manager Jurgen Klopp now feels is back and firing on all cylinders following his shoulder injury picked up in the Champions League Final against Real Madrid. A lot of the chatter around last season’s Premier League top scorer was that he wouldn’t hit the same heights of last season record-breaking haul but despite that Salah has still scored 9 times across both the Premier League and Champions League to date. The Egyptian has scored in the last two Premier League victories over Fulham and Watford, appearing to be 100% once more. Will he terrorise the PSG defence this evening?
The other big news emanating from Anfield in the past week has come from the hierarchy of the club successfully tying down Sadio Mane (£5.61) to a new long-term contract. The Senegalese forward has been transformed under Klopp with 10 goals in last season’s Champions League run to the final and his comments that he wants to stay at Anfield under the stewardship of Klopp is great news for Reds fans.
One of the trends last season on Football Index was the emergence of leading Europa League teams as they dropped out of the Champions League. The eventual winners Atletico Madrid were dumped out of a group containing Chelsea and Roma last season but their drop into the Europa League proved extremely profitable for traders. The likes of Koke rose from £0.71 a share to hit highs of £2.26 in March as traders speculated on a run in the Treble Match Days at the latter end of European tournaments. With a big name looking like they will drop out of the Champions League from Group C could there be some bargains to be had?