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Monday, July 26, 2021

Champions League storylines: PSG under pressure as Barcelona and Juventus eye latter stages

Source: Soccer magazine.

The fourth round of Champions League group stage fixtures is upon us and this week’s matches have the potential to prove decisive in a number of groups. Halfway through the group stage, where the top two of each four team group advance, while third place is relegated to the Europa League, and fourth place goes home, some of Europe’s biggest teams look set to cruise on through, while others are in for a bruising qualification fight.

Barcelona and Juventus in Group G as well as Chelsea and Sevilla In Group E are on course to reach the latter stages easily, but Group H is finely poised and could even see all sides with six points after four games depending on Tuesday’s results.

In particular, last season’s finalists Paris Saint-Germain are under massive pressure after a poor start to the campaign domestically and in Europe where only a win will do for beleaguered coach Thomas Tuchel as RB Leipzig visit Parc des Princes.

This is what we are looking forward to this midweek.

GROUP H: Do or die for PSG

The mission is simple for the Ligue 1 giants: beat Tyler Adams’ Leipzig at home in order to live to fight another day away at Manchester United next week.

Anything but a win will likely prove fatal to PSG’s chances of reaching the latter stages and even a drop into the Europa League would be a disaster for a team that went all the way to final last season.

Les Parisiens have faced tricky situations in the group stage before — notably back in 2018 — and overcome them but they need to do so again with a third loss of the domestic season away at Monaco last week piling even more pressure on Tuchel and his men.

The situation is not as pressurized at Old Trafford with United set to host Istanbul Basaksehir but another surprise win for the Turkish champions against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men could really open the group up.

If the visitors were to emerge victorious and PSG beat Leipzig, Group H would be tantalizingly poised with each team on six points with two matches left to play.

Can PSG put their recent disarray behind them and can Basaksehir repeat their impressive victory from the last round of fixtures?

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