Champions League Group A comes to a close with a bang as two giants of the group come head to head in a winner-takes-all battle. Second-place Paris Saint-Germain take on leaders FC Porto with a point difference between both clubs, meaning the team who triumphs takes three points and ultimately wins the group.
In what is the highest-scoring team in the Champions League, Porto have won four games, including a 1-0 victory over PSG at home and drawn with Dynamo Kyiv to total 13 points. PSG, on the other hand have managed to win all but the Porto away game to tally 12 points. Now at the Parc de Princes, Carlo Ancelotti’s French side have home advantage in the game to win it all.
With eight different goal-scorers to ease the burden on talisman Zlatan Ibrahimović, aside from the blank with Porto, they have accumulated twelve goals, the joint-highest total in the competition. However, as good as their forward line-up is, Ancelotti’s men cannot find a consistent run of form which has seen them slip to fourth place in Ligue 1 with only one win in their last four games.
Yet with someone as prolific as Sweden captain Ibrahimović in the team, PSG cannot be written off, especially at home where they’ve managed to score eight goals in just two European games. As much praise as you can give the newly-rich side, their Portuguese opponents have been turning heads all season.
Not only do the Primeira Liga side boast an impressive eight league titles in the last ten seasons, they already have a Champions League trophy to their name after a feat in 2004. Having now made it ten games this season without defeat, Porto are the only club in Europe to remain undefeated in their domestic league as well as in a European competition. Coming off the back of a 2011/12 season where they won the league with only one defeat in thirty games, it is safe to say Porto don’t understand the notion of losing.
Top-scorer Jackson Martinez has found the net nine times in eight starts this season and is starting to create a name for himself in world football. It will be a clash of the very best strikers as Martinez and Ibrahimović compete to outscore one another.
With a point enough to clinch first spot ahead of PSG, Porto know all they have to do is tie the game to get their reward. A win for PSG will see them overtake the Portuguese outfit and take first place for themselves which would see them face ‘easier’ second-placed opponents in the knockout stage. It’ll be one of the biggest games at stake for both sides as they look to show the world they mean business in a group which has become a two-horse race.
The question remains: Can PSG break Porto’s incredible undefeated record in a stadium where they score for fun? Or will Porto manage to continue their streak in what has started to be an incredible campaign? Only time will tell.
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