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Getting it done
Manchester City can move into their first-ever Champions League final on Tuesday when they host PSG in the second leg of their semi-final clash.
Pep Guardiola’s side will know they have a huge advantage going into the deciding leg after winning the opening match in Paris 2-1 last week.
The Parisians will need to win and also will need to score at least two goals or more to make a second consecutive trip to the final.
You can expect to see a very different City side than the one that beat Crystal Palace 2-0 over the weekend as many of their regulars sat out.
John Stones will be available after missing that match through suspension.
Everyone else, except for defender Eric Garcia, is fit and available.
You can expect to see Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan, John Stones, Riyad Mahrez, Kyle Walker and Ruben Dias all draw into the starting 11.
The big question for the Parisians heading into the return leg is the health of star striker Kylian Mbappe.
The Ligue 1 top goalscorer is nursing a calf injury, and his status is very much up in the air for Tuesday’s clash.
If he can’t go, we could see Everton loanee Moise Kean take his spot up front alongside Neymar in attack.
Idrissa Gueye is suspended for this match following his expulsion in the first leg.
Strive for Five
Man City hold a psychological edge over the defending Ligue 1 champions heading into this match.
In four previous matchups, the Sky Blues have never lost to the Parisians.
The only side PSG have faced more times without winning is AC Milan (4).
They are the sixth team to face both City and Manchester United away in the same European season.
None of the previous five teams were able to win both games against the Manchester clubs.
The Sky Blues are on a roll in Europe, having won their last six matches in this competition.
Winning another one tomorrow would break the record for the longest ever winning run by an English team in the history of this tournament.
Only three other English sides have won six straight matches in the Champions League: Man United (1965-66), Leeds (1969-70), and Arsenal (2005).
Struggling to come back
Coming from behind is not exactly a strong suit of Mauricio Pochettino’s team.
In their UEFA European history, they have never progressed from a knockout tie after losing the opening fixture at home.
They will, however, take some confidence going into this match.
Last season they reversed a 2-1 score to Dortmund in the round of 16 before advancing 3-2 on aggregate.
Long time coming
Man City have been to their share of final’s domestically, but it’s been quite some time since we’ve seen them go the distance in Europe.
Should they progress, it will be their first appearance in a UEFA European final in 51 years.
The last time they made it that far was in 1969-70 when they captured the Cup Winners’ Cup beating Górnik Zabrze.
A berth in the final would be the longest gap between appearances in a UEFA European final for any club.
The current record is 41 years held by Portugal’s Sporting CP.
They made the Cup Winners’ Cup final in 1964 but had to wait until 2005 to get to another one in the UEFA Cup.
More history at stake
It has been by far City’s best performance in this competition, and win Tuesday would set another English record.
The Citizens have won 10 of their 11 Champions League fixtures this season, scoring 23 goals while conceding only four.
An 11th triumph on Tuesday would make them the first English team to win that many games in a single Champions League campaign.
Their rivals Man United currently hold the record, winning 10 times in this tournament back in 2002-03.
City boss Pep Guardiola will enter the Champions League history books when Tuesday’s match kicks off.
The Spaniard will manage in his 63rd career knockout stage match in this competition.
That will surpass the previous mark set by current Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti.
The City manager has had Pochettino’s number over the years of facing him.
Guardiola has beaten the Argentine coach 11 times in his managerial career.
The only managers Guardiola has had as much success against are former City boss Manuel Pellegrini (11 wins) and Burnley’s Sean Dyche (11 wins).
Turning out the Lights
Paris is known as the City of Lights, but if there’s one player who’s been able to perform at his very best against the Ligue 1 champions, it’s Kevin De Bruyne.
Three of the Belgians 10 goals in this competition have come against PSG.
If he can get on the scoresheet tomorrow, he would become only the second player after Neymar to score four times in the Champions League against the Parisians.
The Man City backline have done a masterful job all season, shutting down teams with a tremendous amount of firepower.
In the quarter-finals, they held Erling Haaland scoreless, they kept Harry Kane at bay in the Carabao Cup final, and they held Mbappe in check in the opening leg last week.
PSG’s top goalscorer failed to attempt a single shot versus City last Wednesday.
It was the first time in his career he’s started a Champions League match and failed to do that.
The Frenchman will hope to get cleared to play tomorrow as he has fond memories of his only previous appearance at the Etihad when he scored for Monaco in February 2017.
Ahead of tomorrow’s match City’s Pep Guardiola says it will be necessary for his team not to overthink this encounter.
“We are going to do a good game. What we have to do is win tomorrow and after we see what happens.
“Now we arrive in a good moment. I said to the guys, don’t think too much to win the game.
“The same message we have done for the last six or seven months is the same message for tomorrow.
“We approach the game with a small advantage, and we have to play to win the game. This is what we will do.”
Tuesday’s match from the Etihad gets underway at 8 pm. (JSL).