MATCHDAY: PSG hosts Man City in Champions League semifinals
A look at what’s happening around European soccer on Wednesday:
Paris Saint-Germain meeting Manchester City at the deep end of the Champions League has long been expected given the lavish investment in the clubs by their owners from Qatar and Abu Dhabi, respectively. It’s hardly one for soccer’s romantics, though, and it’s a semifinal that is too close to call. PSG is looking to reach the final for the second straight season and has beaten Barcelona and defending champion Bayern Munich in the knockout stage that couldn’t have been tougher for the French team. City is into the semis for just the second time — after losing to Real Madrid at this stage in 2016 under Manuel Pellegrini — and the first time since Pep Guardiola arrived. City heads to Paris as a newly crowned trophy winner, having captured the English League Cup on Sunday for the fourth straight season, and is close to reclaiming the Premier League title. That could even happen this weekend, with City holding a 10-point lead. Guardiola, then, might choose to rest key players between the two legs against PSG, which might not have that luxury given it is embroiled in a tight race for the French title with three other clubs. City has a virtually full-strength squad, while PSG has recovered central defender Marquinhos after an adductor injury and Kylian Mbappé is fit after a minor thigh injury.
Athletic Bilbao looks to keep momentum from a win over Spanish league leader Atlético Madrid when it hosts relegation-threatened Valladolid. The Basque Country club defeated Atlético 2-1 on Sunday. It is unbeaten in its last six league matches but drew five of them. It sits 10th in the standings. Valladolid can leave the relegation zone with a win at the San Mamés Stadium in Bilbao. It is winless in six straight league matches. The game was postponed because of Athletic’s participation in the Copa del Rey final, which it lost to Barcelona.