Man City led by Pep Guardiola is the closest to reaching the final after winning 2-1 in Paris. It will take Neymar and Mbappe (if he plays) a combined performance of a lifetime to reverse that result in Mauricio Pochettino’s favor. Both tacticians avoided risks during the weekend in domestic league matches, resting most of their key players.
Man United fans extinguished Man City’s chance to celebrate the EPL title this weekend when they took over Old Traford to protest against the club owners. Next weekend though, and as early as Saturday, the Citizens can put the title to bed when they host Chelsea.
Pochettino has done wonders for PSG this season. Knocking out Barcelona (in any condition) and UCL title holders Bayern Munich is no small feat. The domestic league is in its final stages, and PSG is trailing top club Lille by one point with three matches left. This will be a season defining week for the French club. Tonight they travel to Manchester for the semifinal return leg with the difficult task of overcoming a 2-1 home defeat with a superior road victory. They will need to bounce back three days later to face Rennes (the only difficult match in the domestic league) and in three more days meet Montpellier for the Copa de France semifinals. And we (following fantasy EPL) thought top English clubs were busy.
Thomas Tuchel and Co cannot rest at all for the remainder of May. The competition for next season’s UCL seats is still open. The Blues have a difficult run of matches if they’re to hold onto their 4th position in the EPL. They also have the FA cup final against Leicester in 10 days to think about.
It is do or die for Zinedine Zidane today. Playing against Chelsea away from home aiming to return home to the Bernabeu Stadium with Istanbul tickets in hand as well as zero additions to the Spaniards busy clinic. The 13-time Champions League winners will face Seville a few days later. It is worth noting that Seville is on paper one of the contenders to win La Liga this year. The 4-way race to win the domestic league did not stop Zidane from resting a few key players; he did not have the luxury of a deep and healthy squad.
The pressure is clearly on all of the four clubs through to the end of May. Only two of them will witness the Turkish lights at the end of the month.
Crazy Monday — Injury & Suspension Updates
Keep an eye on @NMA_Blog on Twitter and comments below for any updates during the day!
MD-12 Suspension List: PSG’s Gueye is the only suspended player in the semifinals return leg after receiving a red card during the first leg in Paris.
- Real Madrid: Ramos is expected to return to the starting 11 this week against Chelsea (The club is optimistic but not confirmed). Varane, Lucas Vasquez and Dani Carvajal remain sidelined. Ferland Mendy is a minor doubt due to a calf problem. Federico Valverde’s saga with COVID testing also continues with a test result of “inconclusive”. Eden Hazard is back, having started the match against Osasuna. Zidane’s presser is scheduled during our deadline countdown hour, so tune into the comments / chat below to see updates.
- Chelsea: Only Kovacic is out, labeled doubtful in the UEFA website. Mason Mount is expected to be ready for the return leg after receiving a knock against Fulham.
- Man City: Eric Garcia tested positive but this shouldn’t cause Guardiola to flinch. The coach and Stones took to the press ahead of the match against PSG, suggesting Stones is a lock to start.
- PSG: Bernat remains the long term injury for the French team. Dagba was replaced in the domestic league match due to an injury. Mbappe was not risked in the Ligue 1 match but is expected to be ready to start against Man City. The coach was joined by Neymar and Verratti in the UCL press conference.
Keep an eye on the comments section for press conference reports and any other status updates before today’s deadline. Good luck to everyone!
How’s your team faring? Do you have any tactical questions? And which match do you most wish to watch as a fan? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!