Sports, Football

PSG, Dortmund lock horns in epic ‘group of death’ CL clash

Published : 18 Sep 2023 07:39 PM

The bright lights of the Parc des Princes will shine down on one of Tuesday's headline Champions League openers, as Paris Saint-Germain welcome German giants Borussia Dortmund to the French capital in Group F.

The two continental behemoths were drawn against one another in this year's group of death, where Newcastle United and seven-time winners AC Milan are also vying for the top two spots.

For the fourth time in four years, a new face will be commencing PSG's latest bid for Champions League supremacy, which Thomas Tuchel, Mauricio Pochettino, Christophe Galtier and all those before them failed to deliver during their stints in the Parc des Princes hotseat.

While PSG's star man Kylian Mbappe shook off a minor knee concern in time to start against Nice, Enrique is still coping with a large number of absentees, including Marco Asensio, who has been ruled out for the rest of the month owing to a foot injury.

Hamstring victims Nordi Mukiele and Nuno Mendes are not quite ready to return either, while PresnelKimpembe's Achilles tendon is still giving him grief, and Fabian Ruiz is doubtful after sitting out the loss to Nice with a thigh complaint.

The Borussia Dortmund infirmary is not quite so full, but Thomas Meunier (hamstring) and Mateu Morey (knee) are not expected back until next month, while Julien Duranville is still short of match fitness.

On a brighter note, goalkeeper Gregor Kobel and right-back Julian Ryerson both completed the full 90 against Freiburg following problems of their own, while Niclas Fullkrug came off the bench despite a tendon issue, but Giovanni Reyna is still dealing with a leg injury.

Should Ryerson not be deemed ready for two starts in quick succession, Marius Wolf - who set up Reus's late strike at the weekend - is a more than capable deputy, while Ramy Bensebaini should continue on the opposite flank despite being taken off at the break last time out.