The French powerhouses are coming to the Sammy Ofer Stadium on the heels of a string of victories that saw them annihilate their competition. Not much will likely change this season on Matchday 2 of the UEFA Champions League.
Barak Bakhar’s team has shown flashes this season, most notably in the 4-0 playoff win over Olympiacos. Maccabi Haifa could keep up with Benfica in the first half before getting knocked out in the second. Despite their best efforts, especially at home, PSG should emerge victorious due to the superior quality of the away team.
PSG would like to surge ahead and advance to the knockout round as soon as feasible. This is an excellent chance for the French team to solidify their position as group leaders further when Juventus and Benfica face off. Christophe Galtier and the company should have a routine day at the office if they can avoid being intimidated by the home team’s energy.
The Hard Tackle analyzes possible lineups and strategies for both teams for the upcoming game.
Maccabi Haifa will play without Mahmoud Jaber and Suf Podgoreanu, who are both sidelined with injuries. Also with an equal probability of making or missing the matchday team is Raz Meir.
Barring any injuries, Barak Bakhar can field a full-strength squad. He’ll probably play with a 3-5-2 formation that’s similar to PSG’s tonight. The back three of Abdoulaye Seck, Dylan Batubinsika, and Sean Goldberg should feature Josh Cohen in the goalpost.
They may be unable to keep up with PSG’s formidable front three, which could lead to a 5-3-2 formation with Daniel Sundgren and Dolev Haziza dropping back to defend the wings. Tjaronn Chery, Neta Lavi, and Mohammad Abu Fani will be tasked with a significant challenge if they are to prevent Marco Verratti and Vitinha from dominating possession in the middle of the field.
Because of this, the forward pair of Frantzdy Pierrot and Dean David will have more chances to hang on against a PSG defense that has seen it all but is still a bit naive at times.
Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Cohen; Seck; Batubinsika; Goldberg; Sundgren; Chery; Lavi; Fani; Haziza; Pierrot; David
Presnel Kimpembe, a senior defender for PSG, will not be able to play after getting hurt in the weekend victory against Brest. All of Christophe Galtier’s choices are healthy and available, with the exception of Renato Sanches, who must pass a late fitness test.
He will likely stick with the 3-4-3 shape that has allowed his offensive trio to flourish. PSG have been suffocating opponents by attacking them mercilessly over the past several weeks; a quick start tonight could continue this trend.
Gianluigi Donnarumma seems to have found his form again and should start in goal. In the back three alongside Sergio Ramos, Danilo Pereira and Marquinhos will be starting. The rearguard is seasoned and well-equipped to withstand even a weaker enemy assault.
It appears like Nuno Mendes will replace Juan Bernat on the other wing, with Achraf Hakimi remaining in his usual right wing-back position. Galtier will not voluntarily bench Marco Verratti and Vitinha, who have been instrumental in PSG’s midfield supremacy unless they are injured.
The game might come down to who gets the nod to play up front amongst Lionel Messi, Neymar, and Kylian Mbappe. It remains to be seen how Mbappe and Neymar get along on the field despite reports that their relationship has deteriorated in recent weeks.
Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Donnarumma; Ramos, Pereira, Marquinhos; Hakimi, Vitinha, Verratti, Mendes; Messi, Neymar, Mbappe.
Read more: 2022/23 Champions League Matchday 2: Fixture & Preview of Matchday 1
Paris Saint-Germain 3-0 Maccabi Haifa.
Even though Maccabi Haifa plays at home, they should have trouble keeping up with PSG’s quality. There is little chance of Christophe Galtier’s team losing at the Sammy Ofer Stadium this season.
PSG has lost five consecutive away games in the competition and has a good chance of breaking that streak against Maccabi Haifa. There should be some concern if the visitors do not win decisively.