Manchester City head into the second leg of their UEFA Champions League semifinal as strong favorites but will have to overcome the high-powered attack of last season's beaten finalists Paris Saint-Germain if they are to reach their first ever Champions League final.
Second-half goals from Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez overturned Marquinhos' opener in the Parc des Princes, meaning PSG will need to score twice at the Etihad Stadium if they are to reach the Istanbul final later this month. They may need to do so without Kylian Mbappe, who is an injury doubt
after missing the weekend game against Lens, yet the absence of the transcendent French striker has not convinced all our experts that PSG's hopes are over.
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All Champions League games can be viewed live and on demand on Paramount+. Let's get to the predictions:
Manchester City vs. Paris Saint-Germain
Rongen's take: Manchester City have won 10 of their 11 UEFA Champions matches this season (one draw), scoring 23 goals and conceding only four. Pep Guardiola is finally going back to the final. Pick: Manchester City 2, PSG 1 (City advance 4-2 on aggregate)
Romano's take: Get ready for a game full of emotions, champion skills and PSG fighting until the very end. However, City are my favorite here for the final. Pick: Manchester City 2, PSG 2 (City advance 4-3 on aggregate)
Chiu's take: The odds are very much in Man City's favor with a win, draw, or 1-0 loss putting them through to the final. However, I see PSG finding a way to pull this off. Neymar and Kylian Mbappe on the counter-attack are devastating for oppositions, though Manchester City do a good job defending these opportunities, only conceding once off a fast break (Opta) in all competitions. I see both teams capitalizing off of set pieces. Angel Di Maria's corner kicks are lethal and both sides have the most goals from direct free-kicks this UCL season, with PSG leading Man City 6-5. If Mbappe is healthy and firing on all cylinders, PSG will advance. Pick: Manchester City 1, PSG 2 (PSG advance via penalty kicks)
Echegaray's take: The romantic in me wants a PSG comeback, where Neymar Jr and company -- even without Kylian Mbappe -- produce an inspiring performance, where they essentially disrupt Man City's calm, controlled demeanor and score early to make the matchup an anxious affair for the home side. As the game develops, City become more nervous and Mauricio Pochettino takes full advantage by adding a second in the latter stages, giving us free soccer and extra time. Who knows, this could be how it plays out. PSG after all ... are PSG, a team who have scored more than 100 goals this season. But the problem is that Pep Guardiola is at his absolute best when he is in control, and that's what worries me. This is a well-oiled machine who will totally dominate the narrative and having the best defensive unit Europe also helps. It's a draw on the night but City win in aggregate. Pick: Manchester City 1, PSG 1 (City advance 3-2 on aggregate)
Johnson's take: Mauricio Pochettino's men do enough to win on the night with a brave display, but see Pep Guardiola's side reach the final on away goals. Pick: Manchester City 0, PSG 1 (PSG advance 3-3 on away goals)
Benge's take: City proved in the second half last week that they have a level PSG can't reach when they apply a gameplan that works in their favor. Assuming they can overcome their well-founded fear of Kylian Mbappe and Neymar they should have the quality to ease through this tie. Pick: Manchester City 2, PSG 1 (City advance 4-2 on aggregate)
Gonzalez's take: Remember the PSG we saw in the first half against City? We see that for 90 minutes but with efficiency in the final third as the Parisians advance to the UCL final once again. Pick: Manchester City 2, PSG 3 (PSG advance 4-4 on away goals)
Herrera's take: PSG's hopes rest on Kylian Mbappe, who is carrying a knock into the away leg. Manchester City already carry a 2-1 advantage into the second leg and will punch their ticket to the final at home. Pick: Manchester City 2, PSG 1 (City advance 4-2 on aggregate)
Goodman's take: Kylian Mbappe isn't 100% and Manchester City come into this one with a lead and the best defensive in Europe. It's a tall task for PSG and ultimately City will hold the ball and force PSG to chase them, and then take advantage. Pick: Manchester City 2, PSG 0 (City advance 4-1 on aggregate)
Thanks for checking us out, and good luck with your picks!