Paris Saint-Germain and Napoli are squaring off in the second UEFA Champions League Group Stage match between the two clubs. With Liverpool on top of the Group with a comfortable lead, it leaves Napoli and PSG to fight for second place. For both clubs, this game is a must-win as they don’t want to risk being knocked out of the Champions League and being relegated to the Europa League.
PSG and Napoli’s first encounter resulted in a draw. A disappointing result for both clubs. Coming into this meeting, both are determined to gain redemption and prove a point; they can do better. Most importantly, they want to redeem themselves and walk away with the only that matters; a win.
What’s the winning strategy for Napoli?
Control. Napoli wants to gain and retain control. PSG is capable of launching attacking threats at any time, and Napoli needs to be ready for anything. PSG’s dangerous attack will look to penetrate and wear out Napoli’s defense so Napoli is going to need some answers to counter PSG’s scheme. Napoli needs to score some goals and play defense. Napoli was closing in on the win in the first meeting until PSG’s Angel Di Maria equalized in injury time. The lesson from that; relinquishing control before the final whistle is a costly mistake. Napoli needs to stay in control and the to do so is to keep the concentration alive.
What’s the winning strategy for PSG?
Waste no time, score quickly and keep on scoring. PSG needs to launch attack threats immediately and get on the board quickly. Kylian Mbappe, Edinson Cavani, and Neymar must find ways to break through Napoli’s organized defense. All three will need to work together, and they’ll need the help and support from midfielders Adrien Rabiot and Di Maria to launch the attacking threats. PSG’s attack is capable of wearing out Napoli’s defense, but it the opposite is possible, too. In other words, Napoli’s attack can also wear out PSG’s defense. PSG’s defense has to be all over Napoli. PSG needs to attack and defend effectively. The defense needs to deny Napoli any opportunity to score or to even threaten. Launching counter-attacks will certainly help PSG. By launching counter-attacks, PSG can catch Napoli off-guard, take advantage, score, and win. PSG cannot fall into a situation where they find themselves trailing late and all they can do is equalize. PSG cannot afford another draw.
Napoli is coming off a 5-1 victory over Empoli in the Italian Series A league while PSG is just improved to 12-0 in French Ligue 1 play. Since the first meeting on October 24th, both teams have managed to play effectively in preparation for this meeting. In PSG’s case, they need to put that expensive talent to good use. For Napoli, they want to prove that expensive talent is sometimes not enough to compete for a major championship.