We look ahead to Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League action at the Parc des Princes with our PSG vs AC Milan prediction and preview. Will Luis Enrique’s men bounce back from their Matchday 2 loss to Newcastle United?
Paris Saint-Germain vs AC Milan: The Quick Hits
- The Opta supercomputer gives Paris Saint-Germain a 53.4% chance of overcoming AC Milan, as they aim to respond to their humiliating defeat to Newcastle United on Matchday 2.
- Milan have failed to score in their last four UEFA Champions League matches, playing out two goalless draws this season. It’s the longest goal drought in their European history.
- Since the start of 2017-18, Kylian Mbappé has 46 goal involvements in the Champions League group stage (26 goals, 20 assists) – more than any other player.
When the UEFA Champions League group stage draw was concluded, all eyes immediately went to Group F. With Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan joined by Newcastle United and Borussia Dortmund, at least one European giant was guaranteed to fall short, and Wednesday’s meeting between PSG and the Rossoneri could go some way to deciding who is sent packing.
PSG were left battered and bruised when they visited a raucous St. James’ Park on Matchday 2, succumbing to a 4-1 defeat against a fired-up Newcastle. Having taken three points from their first two games, PSG are given a 57.6% chance of advancing from Group F in the Opta supercomputer’s tournament predictions, with the Magpies (79%) now favourites.
Wednesday’s visit of Milan (40%) thus takes on huge importance, but PSG have failed to beat the Rossoneri in four Champions League meetings – the most games they’ve played against any team in the competition without winning.
PSG have steadied the ship since their torrid experience on Tyneside, overcoming Rennes prior to the international break before beating Strasbourg 3-0 on Saturday. Kylian Mbappé played a starring role, converting an early penalty before teeing up Carlos Soler for PSG’s second goal, while Fabián Ruiz added a late third as PSG closed in on the Ligue 1 summit.
Mbappé has 46 goal involvements in Champions League group stage action since the start of 2017-18 (26 goals, 20 assists), more than any other player in that time.
Mbappé – who averages a goal or an assist every 65 minutes at this stage of the competition for PSG – could be joined in the lineup by fellow France forwards Ousmane Dembélé and Randal Kolo Muani, who were rested on Saturday.
Luis Enrique will hope Mbappé and company can add penetration to his controlled brand of football. Only Manchester City (71.8%) have averaged a higher possession share than PSG (70.5%) in the Champions League this season, with defenders Achraf Hakimi (186), Milan Škriniar (178) and Marquinhos (174) all ranking among the top 10 players for open-play passes heading into Matchday 3.
The PSG coach could have Warren Zaïre-Emery available after he missed Saturday’s game with a minor knee injury, but Marco Asensio, Presnel Kimpembe and Nuno Mendes are all sidelined.
Meanwhile, Milan must find a route to goal if they are to have any chance of replicating last season’s run to the last four. Across the first two Champions League matchdays of 2023-24, only Man City (55) and Real Madrid (50) attempted more shots than Milan (39), but the Rossoneri failed to make the breakthrough in goalless draws with Newcastle and Dortmund.
Throughout Champions League history, only Club Brugge (between November 2018 and September 2019) have played out three successive goalless draws. The last time any team drew 0-0 three times in one group stage campaign was in 2005-06, when Lille, Liverpool, Manchester United and Villarreal all did so.
Having also suffered a 3-0 aggregate defeat to Inter in last season’s semi-finals, Milan have failed to score in four consecutive outings in Europe – the longest run in their illustrious history.
Stefano Pioli’s team were stifled again on Sunday as they missed the chance to return to the top of Serie A, losing 1-0 to Juventus. Milan played over 50 minutes with 10 men following Malick Thiaw’s red card, with former Rossoneri midfielder Manuel Locatelli scoring Juve’s winner.
If Milan are to end their barren run, Rafael Leão will have a key role to play. Only PSV’s Noa Lang (25) attempted more than his 16 take-ons across Matchdays 1 and 2, with 43% of them being successful. Leão has also created five chances from open play in the Champions League this season, a tally only matched by Theo Hernández among Milan players. Wednesday’s game could pit Hernández against his brother Lucas, who scored PSG’s consolation against Newcastle.
Pioli has a few selection issues to ponder, with Ismaël Bennacer being joined on the sidelines by Samuel Chukwueze. Former Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek sustained a muscle injury prior to the international break and must be assessed.
Paris Saint-Germain vs AC Milan Head-to-Head
PSG have not faced Milan in the Champions League since the teams drew twice in 2000-01’s second group stage, but they have started to enjoy success against Italian teams lately.
The Parisians have won their last three matches against Italian opponents, having only won two of their previous 20 (nine draws, nine defeats). PSG faced Milan’s rivals Juventus in the Champions League group stage last season, contributing to the Bianconeri’s elimination with two wins.
Milan, meanwhile, have only lost three of their 16 Champions League meetings with French sides (eight wins, five draws), going down to Marseille in the 1993 final, Lens in 2002-03 and Lille in 2006-07.
It’s fair to say PSG have made their home a fortress in the Champions League’s group stage since their 2011 takeover by Qatar Sports Investments.
Since ending their seven-season exile from the competition in 2012-13, PSG have only lost one of their 34 home games at this stage of the competition (27 wins, six draws), suffering a 2-1 defeat against Manchester United in October 2020.
Following their defeat to Newcastle, PSG could lose back-to-back games in the same Champions League group stage campaign for the first time since 2004-05, when they lost their first two matches before failing to reach the last 16.
Milan approach Wednesday’s game in decent form, only losing one of their last seven matches in all competitions (four wins, two draws), while they are unbeaten in three away games (two wins, one draw) since being thrashed 5-1 by Inter in last month’s Derby della Madonnina.
Opta Power Rankings
The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.
Ahead of kick-off on Wednesday night, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.
Paris Saint-Germain vs AC Milan Prediction
A PSG win would take them four points clear of Milan ahead of their trip to San Siro for Matchday 4’s return fixture, and the Opta supercomputer is backing them to earn the spoils.
Of 10,000 match simulations conducted ahead of kick-off, PSG won 53.4%, with Milan triumphing in 23.5% of scenarios and 23.1% finishing level.
Neither PSG nor Milan are expected to be among the contenders to become European champions next June, though. In our tournament projections, PSG are given just a 1.4% probability of lifting the trophy, with Milan winning the competition in 1.1% of scenarios.
Paris Saint-Germain vs AC Milan UCL Squads
Paris Saint-Germain: Keylor Navas, Alexandre Letellier, Arnau Tenas, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Achraf Hakimi, Presnel Kimpembe, Marquinhos, Lucas Hernández, Nuno Mendes, Nordi Mukiele, Milan Škriniar, Manuel Ugarte, Fabián Ruiz, Danilo, Vitinha, Kang-in Lee, Carlos Soler, Warren Zaïre-Emery, Ethan Mbappé, Kylian Mbappé, Gonçalo Ramos, Ousmane Dembélé, Marco Asensio, Randal Kolo Muani, Bradley Barcola.
Head Coach: Luis Enrique
AC Milan: Mike Maignan, Marco Sportiello, Antonio Mirante, Davide Calabria, Theo Hernández, Pierre Kalulu, Fikayo Tomori, Simon Kjær, Malick Thiaw, Mattia Caldara, Alessandro Florenzi, Yacine Adli, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Tijjani Reijnders, Tommaso Pobega, Rade Krunić, Yunus Musah, Olivier Giroud, Rafael Leão, Christian Pulisic, Luka Jović, Noah Okafor, Samuel Chukwueze.
Head Coach: Stefano Pioli