Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and their Paris Saint-Germain drew the short straw as they finished second in Group A in the UCL. The French giant couldn’t match Manchester City who defeated them in their last match in the Group Stage. Thus, PSG can be certain that they will get a tough matchup in the 1/8 finals in the spring. Potential opponents include Liverpool, Ajax, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Manchester United, and Juventus. The draw for the Knockout Stage will take place at 12:00 CET in Nyon, Switzerland.
Both teams faced each other twice in the UEFA Champions League. They played two games in 2018 where each team took a win in their home ground. In 1997, the same thing happened in their two meetings in UEFA European Cup Winners Cup. The Reds have won the UCL in 2018/19 and are still looking to tie Milan for 2nd place with 7 titles in their history.
Ajax is probably the easiest potential opponent at first sight. Both teams played against each other in 2014/15 UCL season in Group F. The first game ended in a draw in Amsterdam Arena, while PSG took a convincing 3:1 win in the rematch. Ajax proved to be a tough opponent in recent years as they eliminated the likes of Real Madrid and Juventus in 2018/19.
This will surely be a treat to watch as we will potentially see Sergio Ramos and Lionel Messi team up against Real Madrid. Both teams enjoyed playing against one another a lot recently. Los Merengues lead with a 3-2-1 record in the head-to-head matches. They eliminated PSG in the Round of 16 in the 2017/18 UCL season when Real Madrid lifted their last trophy.
Bayern Munich will be yet another interesting potential opponent for PSG in the Round of 16. Both teams fought for the UCL title in 2020 where the Germans took a narrow 1:0 to lift the trophy. Overall, Bayern Munich have won 5 of their meetings with PSG, while the French were victorious three times. If the draw put them against each other, PSG will surely seek a revenge for the missed chance in the 2020 UCL Final.
Both teams faced each other recently in 2018/19 and 2020/21. Manchester United found a way to surprise the huge favourite, PSG, in their Round of 16 matchup in 2019. After a demanding 2-goal lead from the first game, the French team lost its cool at Parc de Princes and took a devastating 1:3 loss. Two season later, both teams were drawn in Group H as each got 3 points from their head-to-head games. This is yet another potential Messi versus Cristiano Ronaldo matchup.
Juventus and PSG have met just once in the new millennium. In 2017, they played a friendly game in the International Champions Cup. The game ended 2:3 in favour of the “Old Lady” as Claudio Marchisio scored the winning goals for his team. Although Juventus haven’t won the UCL since 1995/96, they have never been an easy opponent in Europe.
Ligue 1 Performance
PSG leads in the French Ligue 1 with 42 points from 17 games played. They are 11 points ahead of Rennes and 13 points in front of Marseille. The team is almost guaranteed yet another French title, so they will surely switch their focus to the UEFA Champions League.