Man City must keep PSG within reach in Champions League

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Manchester City dip their toes into unchartered European waters and face an opponent building a strong case as an outside hope for Champions League glory.

For the first time in their history, the Citizens will contest a quarter-final in Uefa’s premier club competition, travelling to Paris Saint-Germain for their historic first leg.

As their charge for the Premier League crown has faded, City’s focus has switched to a momentous assault on Europe’s most coveted prize, but face a significant challenge to progress beyond the last eight.

Laurent Blanc’s side have already wrapped up their domestic title and have their sights set on a slice of their own history, with the Champions League, Coupe de la Ligue and Coupe de France all still within their grasp for an unprecedented quadruple.

Formidable home form has become the bedrock of PSG’s four-front assault this season, with the club losing just once at Parc des Princes in any competition thus far.

As a result Ladbrokes make Zlatan Ibrahimovic and co 4/6 favourites to claim victory when Manuel Pellegrini brings his squad to visit.

At 4/1, the Citizens stand as outsiders to take an advantage back to the Etihad Stadium and while the Chilean tactician will no doubt send his side out to do that, perhaps a more realistic target would be one of damage limitation.

Only four clubs have managed to stop the French powerhouses scoring in their own stadium this term, from 25 that have tried.

Just one other visitor has managed to limit Blanc’s men to just a solitary strike, so the huge task a depleted Man City side faces to keep this tie competitive is obvious.

Naturally, one of the best ways to keep themselves in contention is to nab an all-important away goal, but with 12 clean sheets to their name in Paris, doing so against PSG will be easier said than done.

Joe Hart, Yaya Toure, Vincent Kompany and Raheem Sterling are the latest Man City players to nurse injuries, so the importance of keeping the opposition within reach heading back to Manchester is key, especially with the former trio possibly in line for a return in the second leg.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.