CHRIS SUTTON: Five key battles to watch out for as Manchester City take on Paris Saint-Germain


CHRIS SUTTON’S KEY PSG VS MAN CITY BATTLES: Idrissa Gueye will harry Bernardo Silva before he can do damage, 19-year-old Nuno Mendes will give Riyad Mahrez a good test while Achraf Hakimi vs Jack Grealish promises to be an exciting tussle

  • Paris Saint-Germain host Manchester City on Tuesday in the Champions League
  • The French giants are looking to exact revenge from their semi-final knockout 
  • Chris Sutton takes a look at some of the key battles to watch out for on Tuesday 


Manchester City face Paris Saint-Germain on a Tuesday in a match which pits some of the best players in the world against each other.

PSG will be looking to exact revenge from their Champions League semi-final defeat to City last season in their first of two group stage clashes.

Sportsmail columnist Chris Sutton takes a look at the key battles to watch out for on Tuesday evening.    

Riyad Mahrez starred as Manchester City knocked out Paris Saint-Germain last season

KYLIAN MBAPPE V JOAO CANCELO 

Cancelo’s highlights reel against Chelsea was impressive, considering he was a right back playing at left back. 

On Tuesday, he’s got to stop Mbappe. Sitting near the top of the goals and assists charts in Ligue 1, the French sensation has been the best of a very talented bunch at Paris Saint-Germain this season. 

Cancelo is fast but not as quick as fellow full back Kyle Walker, so Mbappe will likely target the Portugal star’s flank.

French star Kylian Mbappe will likely target Joao Cancelo's flank and use his speed advantage

French star Kylian Mbappe will likely target Joao Cancelo’s flank and use his speed advantage

IDRISSA GUEYE v BERNARDO SILVA

There is talk of Pep Guardiola resting Kevin De Bruyne, which I’d find surprising for a match of this magnitude. 

He can cut open an opposition defence in an instant. Yet if De Bruyne is rested, Silva is the one who will try to assume the role of City’s chief playmaker. Gueye, Ander Herrera, Leandro Paredes or Gini Wijnaldum — whoever is in that PSG midfield — will look to harry Silva before he can do damage. 

There’s going to be a battle for possession on Tuesday night. Expect to see plenty of pressing.

Bernardo Silva will take on the role of key playmaker if Kevin De Bruyne is rested on Tuesday

Bernardo Silva will take on the role of key playmaker if Kevin De Bruyne is rested on Tuesday

LIONEL MESSI v FERNANDINHO

This one depends on Messi being fit. PSG say they’re hopeful their awesome Argentine will be able to take part despite a recent knee problem.

If he does play, then City’s defensive midfielder is going to need to watch out for Messi ghosting into spaces where he can pick up the ball and run — as we’ve seen from him over the years. Rodri is the best candidate for that job, but word is that Fernandinho will start.

He’s experienced enough to know where to position himself, at least. It isn’t easy with the freedom that Messi is generally given.

Lionel Messi is hoping to be fit in time to play alongside Kylian Mbappe and Neymar

Lionel Messi is hoping to be fit in time to play alongside Kylian Mbappe and Neymar

ACHRAF HAKIMI V JACK GREALISH 

Grealish is growing into that City shirt nicely. Guardiola didn’t get the striker he wanted in the summer window, but he did add more creativity — £100million worth in the form of the former Aston Villa captain. 

Hakimi likes to add to PSG’s attacks by flying down the right wing but he’ll need to be mindful of leaving Grealish with room to do damage behind.

The 26-year-old strikes me as the type of player who, when on the same pitch as Messi, Neymar, Mbappe and Co, will want to stand out.

Jack Grealish has slotted into Man City's team nicely since completing his £100m transfer

Jack Grealish has slotted into Man City’s team nicely since completing his £100m transfer

NUNO MENDES v RIYAD MAHREZ

Mahrez tormented PSG in last season’s Champions League semi-final, scoring three goals across the two legs. It’s only right that he should get the chance to do it all over again at Parc des Princes. 

Starts have been hard to secure for Mahrez of late, but he will be relishing this contest with memories of last season’s victories in his mind.

Yet when he faced PSG, he wasn’t up against Mendes. The Portugal left back, on loan from Sporting Lisbon, is only 19 but what a talent. He’ll give Mahrez a good test.

Nuno Mendes is a huge talent and the full-back will give Mahrez a good test on Tuesday night

Nuno Mendes is a huge talent and the full-back will give Mahrez a good test on Tuesday night

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