Champions League

Preview: Paris Saint-Germain v Arsenal

2016-09-13 13:02
Theo Walcott and Arsene Wenger (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Arsene Wenger's Arsenal begin their UEFA Champions League campaign with a tough Group A assignment in Paris against a Paris Saint-Germain outfit still adjusting to life under Unai Emery. 

Both sides have experienced mixed starts to their domestic campaigns and will no doubt be eager to shine on Tuesday night at the Parc des Princes.

PSG have had an uncertain start in the league in France picking up just seven points from their opening four games this term under Emery - the Spaniard took over from the hugely successful Laurent Blanc ahead of this season.

The 44-year-old will no doubt be looking for Ángel Di María to sparkle as he looks for a new player to star for the team after Zlatan Ibrahimovic departed for Manchester United.

The Argentina international is a key player for PSG and has had success in the UEFA Champions League having won it in 2014 with Real Madrid. 

However, Emery has called upon his whole side to rise to the occasion against Arsenal. He told reporters, "Arsenal remain our biggest rival. They are a big club with a great coach and great players. This is an opportunity for us to work hard and experience a great football moment."

Arsene Wenger's side have won their last two Premier League matches and should at least visit the French capital with some confidence.

Nonetheless, Wenger has asked for new signings like Lucas Perez and Shkodran Mustafi to be be given time ahead of the clash with PSG.

He told the club's official website, "We bought one more striker (Perez) because we thought we needed one more. Let's give him time and not judge him too quickly. Mustafi has only played one half since the start of the season with Valencia, so they are (both) missing games."

In team news, the Gunners are set to welcome back Kieran Gibbs to the squad for the match after he recovered from injury. Granit Xhaka could play a part after being rested in the 2-1 win over Southampton while the same applies to Alexis Sanchez, who only played around 30 minutes in the game. 

Defender Laurent Koscielny is doubtful for the tie after injuring his eye in the same game. In addition, Aaron Ramsey is ruled out as he has not recovered from a hamstring strain he picked up against Liverpool. Per Mertesacker and Danny Welbeck remain long term casualties for the London side. 

Meanwhile, defenders Serge Aurier, Maxwell, Thiago Silva and Layvin Kurzawa are all doubtful for PSG. This means Emery may have to play players out of position in defence if the quartet aren't deemed fit to play. At present Marquinhos, Presnel Kimpembe and Thomas Meunier are the club's only fully-fit defenders.

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Fixtures
18 October 2016
CSKA Moscow v Monaco, Arena CSKA 20:45
Bayer 04 Leverkusen v Tottenham Hotspur, BayArena 20:45
Sporting Lisbon v Borussia Dortmund, Estadio Jose Alvalade 20:45
Club Brugge v FC Porto, Jan Breydelstadion 20:45
Leicester City v FC København, King Power Stadium 20:45
Dinamo Zagreb v Sevilla, Maksimir 20:45
Lyon v Juventus, Parc OL 20:45
Real Madrid v Legia Warsaw, Santiago Bernabeu 20:45
19 October 2016
FC Bayern München v PSV, Allianz Arena 20:45
Barcelona v Manchester City, Camp Nou 20:45
Celtic v Borussia Mönchengladbach, Celtic Park 20:45
Arsenal v Ludogorets Razgrad, Emirates Stadium 20:45
Dynamo Kyiv v Benfica, Kiev Olympic Stadium 20:45
FC Rostov v Atlético de Madrid, Olimp-2 Stadium 20:45
Paris Saint-Germain v FC Basel, Parc des Princes 20:45
Napoli v Besiktas, San Paolo 20:45
01 November 2016
Borussia Mönchengladbach v Celtic, Borussia-Park 21:45
Benfica v Dynamo Kyiv, Estadio da Luz 21:45
Manchester City v Barcelona, Etihad Stadium 21:45
PSV v FC Bayern München, Philips Stadion 21:45
FC Basel v Paris Saint-Germain, St Jakob-Park 21:45
Ludogorets Razgrad v Arsenal, Vasil Levski National Stadium 21:45
Atlético de Madrid v FC Rostov, Vicente Calderon 21:45
Besiktas v Napoli, Vodafone Arena 21:45
02 November 2016
FC Porto v Club Brugge, Estadio do Dragao 21:45
Juventus v Lyon, Juventus Stadium 21:45
FC København v Leicester City, Parken Stadion 21:45
Legia Warsaw v Real Madrid, Pepsi Arena 21:45
Sevilla v Dinamo Zagreb, Ramon-Sanchez Pizjuan 21:45
Borussia Dortmund v Sporting Lisbon, Signal Iduna Park 21:45
Monaco v CSKA Moscow, Stade Louis II 21:45
Tottenham Hotspur v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Wembley 21:45
22 November 2016
CSKA Moscow v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Arena CSKA 19:00
Sporting Lisbon v Real Madrid, Estadio Jose Alvalade 21:45
Leicester City v Club Brugge, King Power Stadium 21:45
Dinamo Zagreb v Lyon, Maksimir 21:45
FC København v FC Porto, Parken Stadion 21:45
Sevilla v Juventus, Ramon-Sanchez Pizjuan 21:45
Borussia Dortmund v Legia Warsaw, Signal Iduna Park 21:45
Monaco v Tottenham Hotspur, Stade Louis II 21:45
23 November 2016
FC Rostov v FC Bayern München, Olimp-2 Stadium 19:00
Borussia Mönchengladbach v Manchester City, Borussia-Park 21:45
Celtic v Barcelona, Celtic Park 21:45
Arsenal v Paris Saint-Germain, Emirates Stadium 21:45
Napoli v Dynamo Kyiv, San Paolo 21:45
Ludogorets Razgrad v FC Basel, Vasil Levski National Stadium 21:45
Atlético de Madrid v PSV, Vicente Calderon 21:45
Besiktas v Benfica, Vodafone Arena 21:45
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