Dinamo Zagreb - Paris Saint-Germain Preview: Ancelotti's men seek second Champions League triumph
The French capital side suffered defeat in their last Group A outings, and will be hoping to take all three points against a Croatian outfit yet to get off the mark in 2012
By Daniel Edwards
Vida, Tonel, Simunic, Pivaric
Rukavina, Sammir, Kovacic, Cop
Jallet, Alex, T. Silva, Maxwell
Verratti, Matuidi, Sissoko
Paris Saint-Germain saw further injury woes added to the squad during their weekend clash with Reims, with the news that attacker Nene would be ruled out for their upcoming Champions League encounter.
The Brazilian suffered a fractured cheekbone during the 1-0 victory and is expected to miss up to six weeks, joining Clement Chantome and Thiago Motta on the list of absences.
With no injury or suspension worries, the home team will hope to pick up their first points of the competition in the Croatian capital, after beginning their Group A campaign with consecutive defeats at the hands of Porto and Dynamo Kiev.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Dinamo Zagreb have never met Wednesday's rivals in a competitive clash, but have crossed French opposition on six occasions in Europe.
- The Croatians have won twice and lost four against French teams, the last encounter ending in a 7-1 drubbing at the hands of Olympique Lyonnais in December 2011.
- Dinamo's local dominance is clear to see; the club have lifted the Prva HNL title for seven seasons running.
- This success has yet to translate into continental competition, however. Since 2000, when the club changed its name back from Croatia Zagreb, they have failed to progress past the Champions League group stage.
- Paris Saint-Germain currently lie in second place in Group A. A 4-1 win over Dynamo Kiev in the opening match was followed by defeat to Porto, leaving the club with three points so far.
- Although he was born in Sweden, striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has a Croatian mother. The ex-Milan man last played in Zagreb in February 2012, netting from the penalty spot in a 3-1 victory for Sweden.
- Coach Carlo Ancelotti (right) has an impeccable record in the competition. The 53-year-old won the European Cup twice as a player with AC Milan and went on to repeat the achievement on two more occasions as the Italian giants' coach, making him one of only six men to lift the title both on the pitch and on the bench.
- PSG are one of two French clubs, alongside Marseille, to have tasted continental glory. Les Parisiens lifted the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1996 with victory over Rapid Wien.
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Top 3 Predictions
Dinamo Zagreb 0-2 Paris St. Germain (PSG)
- 19.92 %
Dinamo Zagreb 0-3 Paris St. Germain (PSG)
- 15.33 %
Dinamo Zagreb 1-3 Paris St. Germain (PSG)
- 11.49 %
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||6 Nov 2012||Paris St. Germain (PSG) 4 - Dinamo Zagreb 0|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||24 Oct 2012||Dinamo Zagreb 0 - Paris St. Germain (PSG) 2|
|28 Nov 2013||Chornomorets 2 - Dinamo Zagreb 1||EL|
|7 Nov 2013||PSV Eindhoven 2 - Dinamo Zagreb 0||EL|
|24 Oct 2013||Dinamo Zagreb 0 - PSV Eindhoven 0||EL|
|3 Oct 2013||PFC Ludogorets Razgrad 3 - Dinamo Zagreb 0||EL|
|19 Sep 2013||Dinamo Zagreb 1 - Chornomorets 2||EL|
|Paris St. Germain (PSG)|
|7 Dec 2013||Paris St. Germain (PSG) 5 - FC Sochaux-Montbéliard 0||Lig1|
|4 Dec 2013||Evian Thonon Gaillard 2 - Paris St. Germain (PSG) 0||Lig1|
|1 Dec 2013||Paris St. Germain (PSG) 4 - Olympique Lyonnais 0||Lig1|
|27 Nov 2013||Paris St. Germain (PSG) 2 - Olympiakos 1||UCL|
|23 Nov 2013||Stade de Reims 0 - Paris St. Germain (PSG) 3||Lig1|
|23||Gregory van der Wiel||Defender|
|-||Mohamed Lamine Sissoko||Midfielder|
One of the legends of Croatian football with 99 caps at international level. The veteran centre-back who gained notoriety for picking up three yellow cards in the 2006 World Cup against his nation of birth Australia will need to put in a huge defensive performance to keep PSG's stars at bay.
The young Argentine has performed in fits and starts since completing a lucrative transfer from Palermo. It is on big European nights like this one that the playmaker must show definitively that he was worth the €40 million [£32.5m] transfer fee invested by the French club.
Going down to Porto was a blow, but with star names like Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the ranks PSG should have more than enough to bounce back and record a decent victory against Group A's basement boys.