Champions League preview: PSG sweat over Mbappé injury, Liverpool still wary of Inter

Madrid, Spain - PSG hold a slender 1-0 lead as they prepare to visit Real Madrid in their high-profile Champions League last 16 second leg. Kylian Mbappé could make the difference again if a late injury doesn't scupper his chances.

Kylian Mbappé scored the goal that gave PSG a 1-0 lead heading into the second leg of their Champions League last 16 tie against Real Madrid.
Kylian Mbappé scored the goal that gave PSG a 1-0 lead heading into the second leg of their Champions League last 16 tie against Real Madrid.  © IMAGO / Le Pictorium

The France forward, who has been heavily linked with a summer move to Real scored PSG's stoppage-time 1-0 winner in last month's first leg.

He was suspended for the weekend league match at Nice which the Ligue 1 leaders lost 1-0. To make matters worse, French daily Le Parisien reported that the 23-year-old hurt himself in training on Monday and will need to undergo medical exams.

Record Champions League winners Real Madrid are confident after beating Real Sociedad 4-1 that they can reverse matters against PSG.

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They will need at least one goal and must try to keep a clean sheet against PSG's star-studded attack, although the away goal rule has been abolished, which means extra time if Real lead 2-1 or by any other one-goal advantage.

The PSG camp meanwhile insists that the defeat in Nice will be no factor when they travel to Madrid where they want to continue their bid for a first title in the elite event.

"Of course it's going to be a different game against Real Madrid in the Champions League and we cannot compare the games," coach Mauricio Pochettino said.

Defender Thilo Kehrer said the team would "keep a positive attitude for Real."

Lionel Messi will hope to do better than in the first leg where he failed to convert a penalty against Real who enter the game full of confidence although they will be missing Casemiro and are sweating on the fitness of Federico Valverde and Toni Kroos.

"If we play like that we've got a better chance of getting something on Wednesday," coach Carlo Ancelotti said after the comprehensive win over Real Sociedad.

"All madridismo will believe we can turn it around on Wednesday following this game. Their help will be absolutely vital on Wednesday."

Klopp warns against complacency

Jürgen Klopp celebrating Liverpool's 2-1 win over Norwich on Saturday.
Jürgen Klopp celebrating Liverpool's 2-1 win over Norwich on Saturday.  © IMAGO / PA Images

Six-time winners Bayern Munich will meanwhile hope to settle their affair with Salzburg in 90 minutes on Tuesday but had to be content with a late 1-1 draw in Austria and have been far from glorious lately.

Bayern meanwhile want to clinch a record-extending 20th quarter-final berth in the competition but for that they need to do better than in their 1-1 weekend draw against Bayer Leverkusen and improve especially in defence against Salzburg.

The other two ties appear effectively settled in favour of English top sides Manchester City and Liverpool.

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Last year's finalists City host Sporting on Wednesday leading 5-0 from the first leg in Portugal, and six-time champs Liverpool start their Tuesday Anfield date with Serie A champions Inter Milan 2-0 up.

Coach Jürgen Klopp, however, suggested the two-goal advantage can be dangerous, however, claiming it to be the most overturned scoreline in soccer.

But only once in Champions League history has a team ever lost the first leg of a knockout tie by two or more goals at home and still gone on to progress, with Manchester United doing so against Paris Saint-Germain at this stage three years ago.

Klopp is not risking complacency, though. "You can't have a team at half-time that thinks they are already through. Then you are on the wrong path," the German said

"We knew they had quality but now we know they have real quality. They will show up here after winning their last game 5-0. Yes, against bottom of the table, but still really impressive. [Lautaro] Martinez scored [a hat-trick], [Edin] Dzeko scored, [Robin] Gosens is back."

"I'm really happy [Nicolo] Barella isn't playing because he set up three or four chances. That's a really good, experienced team who don't come here as tourists."

Freshly-crowed League Cup winners Liverpool are coming off the back of a crucial 2-1 win over Norwich, which kept them in the Premier League title race. Roberto Firmino, who scored in Milan, Joel Matip, and Thiago are all back in full training.

Cover photo: Collage: IMAGO / PA Images & Le Pictorium

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