PSG v. Liverpool (Group C) – November 28th
Champions League Group C
Group C is one of the few groups that is completely up for grabs, with only 2 points separating the top and bottom teams. With this small of separation, it’s possible that goal difference could become completely irrelevant depending on how the games shake out. This post will cover one of the match ups from this group that will either make the group even more convulted — or add some clarity. FiveThirtyEight’s Champions League predictions indicate the how wide open this group is, they give PSG a 28% and Liverpool a 42% chance of winning the group.
Liverpool travel to Princes’ Park to play PSG. Despite Liverpool being one of our Darkhorse Teams, comes into this match after a shocking 2-0 loss to one of our Small Clubs of the Week (Red Star Belgrade) at the beginning of November. Liverpool’s chances could be substantially improved if they can overcome PSG, which they did once before by a 3-2 margin.
They are coming off of a dominant 3-0 win over Wolves in the Premier League, however, Jordan Henderson was sent off with a red card (for yellow card accumulation). Although he’s not an everyday starter, he has so far appeared in 2 of their 4 Champions League games. I don’t think this will factor in significantly to the Champions League match up, but it could have implications for player rotation and rest.
Liverpool have been on a tear in the Premier League, but that form hasn’t necessarily translated to the Champions League. Obviously, the loss I referenced above is taken into consideration with that drop in form. However, the disparity between goal scoring averages in the Premier League and Champions League is a stark contrast. In the Premier League their 1.5 goals per game is good enough for 4th in goals scored, however, in the Champions League their 1.75 is only good enough to put them in a tie for 11th (with four other teams). The diffence between the home and away form is also stark, they average 3.5 goals scored at “home” (Wembley) and 0 goals scored away. They have conceded 1 goal per game at home, and 1.5 goals per game away.
PSG plays Liverpool at home (Princes Park). So far, PSG resides in 3rd-place after 2 consecutive draws with Napoli and a one goal loss to Liverpool at Wembley. The return game could be the deciding factor as to who goes down to the Europa League and who continues to the knockout rounds. however, some of that is dependent on how the other games in Group C fare.
PSG has been an entirely different team in league play when compared to their Champions League play. In Serie A, PSG have runaway from the rest of the division having opened the season with 14 straight wins (you read that right… not 14 games without a loss… 14 straight wins). This puts them 15 points clear of their nearest league competition and just to further illustrate their dominance, they’ve scored 46 goals and conceded just 7. That puts their average in the league at just over 3.25 goals per game and 0.5 concessions per game.
Their Champions League form has not been nearly as impressive. Their away form has seen them allow 2 goals per game and scoring 1.5 goals per game, however, their home form has been markedly better. They are averaging 4 goals per game and only 1.5 goals against.
What to expect
This should be a very free-flowing attacking styled game, neither team has anything to gain by trying to minimize damage. Both need a win to ensure safety in the group and with the group wide open, points are imperative. The teams both enter with markedly different home form, so although Liverpool won the first match up — I am not convinced there’s any certainty they’ll win this win. I think a lot of it will depend on which Liverpool side we see, regardless, I think this game should feature a fair number of goals as both teams are proficient in that. I would not be at all surprised to see a goal total north of 4, and it could be higher.
One final aside, maybe this will get Tim Weah on the board and give you a good reason to follow this article up with a read on our series about the future of the US Men’s National Team.