Champions League: Prediction and Preview of PSG vs. AC Milan
PSG has stabilized the ship after their ordeal on Tyneside, defeating Rennes before the international break and then thumping Strasbourg 3-0 on Saturday. Mbappé was the star of the show, scoring an early penalty and setting up Carlos Soler for PSG’s second goal, while Fabián Ruiz scored a late third as PSG moved closer to the top of Ligue 1.
Mbappé has 46 goal involvements in Champions League group stage activity (26 goals, 20 assists) since the start of 2017-18, more than any other player in that period.
Mbappé, who averages a goal or an assist per 65 minutes for PSG at this point in the season, might be joined in the lineup by fellow France strikers Ousmane Dembélé and Kolo Muani, who were rested on Saturday.
Luis Enrique will be hoping that Mbappé and his teammates can bring penetration to his controlled style of game. Only Manchester City (71.8%) and PSG (70.5%) have averaged a greater possession share in the Champions League this season, with defenders Achraf Hakimi (186), Milan kriniar (178) and Marquinhos (174) all ranked among the top 10 players for open-play passes entering Matchday 3.
Warren Zare-Emery, who missed Saturday’s game with a slight knee injury, might be ready for PSG, while Marco Asensio, Presnel Kimpembe, and Nuno Mendes are all out.
Meanwhile, Milan must find a way to score if they are to repeat their run to the last four from last season. Only Manchester City (55) and Real Madrid (50) attempted more attempts in the first two Champions League matchdays of 2023-24 than Milan (39), but the Rossoneri failed to break through in goalless draws with Newcastle and Dortmund.
Only Club Brugge (between November 2018 and September 2019) has played three consecutive goalless draws in Champions League history. The last time a team drew 0-0 three times in a single group stage campaign was Lille, Liverpool, Manchester United, and Villarreal in 2005-06.
Milan have failed to score in four successive European outings, the longest drought in their storied history, after also losing 3-0 on aggregate to Inter in last season’s semi-finals.
Stefano Pioli’s squad was smothered once more on Sunday, losing 1-0 to Juventus and missing out on a chance to return to the top of Serie A. Following Malick Thiaw’s red card, Milan played nearly 50 minutes with 10 men, with former Rossoneri player Manuel Locatelli scoring Juve’s winner.
Rafael Leo will be crucial if Milan are to halt their winless streak. Only PSV’s Noa Lang (25) tried more take-ons than him on Matchdays 1 and 2, with 43% of them successful. Leo has also generated five opportunities from open play in the Champions League this season, a feat only Theo Hernández has accomplished among Milan players. Hernández might face his brother Lucas in Wednesday’s game, who scored PSG’s consolation goal against Newcastle.
Pioli has a few selection quandaries, with Ismael Bennacer joined on the bench by Samuel Chukwueze. Ruben Loftus-Cheek, a former Chelsea midfielder, had a muscular injury before to the international break and must be evaluated.
Paris Saint-Germain vs AC Milan Head-to-Head
PSG have not played Milan in the Champions League since the clubs drew twice in the second group stage in 2000-01, but they have recently begun to experience success against Italian opponents.
The Parisians have won their past three games against Italian opponents after winning only two of their previous 20 (nine ties and nine loses). PSG defeated Milan rivals Juventus in the Champions League group stage last season, helping the Bianconeri to elimination.
Meanwhile, Milan has only lost three of its 16 Champions League encounters with French teams (eight victories, five draws), falling to Marseille in the final in 1993, Lens in 2002-03, and Lille in 2006-07.
Since their acquisition by Qatar Sports Investments in 2011, PSG have made their home a fortress in the Champions League group stage.
PSG have only lost one of their 34 home games at this round of the competition (27 wins, six draws) since breaking their seven-season exile from the competition in 2012-13 (a 2-1 setback against Manchester United in October 2020).
PSG might lose back-to-back games in the same Champions League group stage campaign for the first time since 2004-05, when they dropped their opening two games before failing to advance to the last 16.
Milan enters Wednesday’s game in good form, having only lost one of their past seven matches in all competitions (four wins, two draws), and they are unbeaten in three away games (two wins, one draw) since being humiliated 5-1 by Inter in the Derby della Madonnina last month.
Paris Saint-Germain vs AC Milan UCL Squads
Paris Saint-Germain: Keylor Navas, Alexandre Letellier, Arnau Tenas, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Achraf Hakimi, Presnel Kimpembe, Marquinhos, Lucas Hernández, Nuno Mendes, Nordi Mukiele, Milan Škriniar, Manuel Ugarte, Fabián Ruiz, Danilo, Vitinha, Kang-in Lee, Carlos Soler, Warren Zaïre-Emery, Ethan Mbappé, Kylian Mbappé, Gonçalo Ramos, Ousmane Dembélé, Marco Asensio, Randal Kolo Muani, Bradley Barcola.
Head Coach: Luis Enrique
AC Milan: Mike Maignan, Marco Sportiello, Antonio Mirante, Davide Calabria, Theo Hernández, Pierre Kalulu, Fikayo Tomori, Simon Kjær, Malick Thiaw, Mattia Caldara, Alessandro Florenzi, Yacine Adli, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Tijjani Reijnders, Tommaso Pobega, Rade Krunić, Yunus Musah, Olivier Giroud, Rafael Leão, Christian Pulisic, Luka Jović, Noah Okafor, Samuel Chukwueze.