Wednesday August 12, 2020 ((rezonodwes.com)) – A Champions League semi-final for its fiftieth anniversary? With three matches of an unprecedented European coronation, PSG begins its “Final 8” in the quarterfinals against Atalanta Bergamo (9:00 p.m.) Wednesday in Lisbon, with the fierce desire to write history despite several notable absentees.  After the curse of the eighths, Paris hopes to be stronger than the lack of rhythm and the black series of injuries: from Marco Verratti, a priori forfeit, to Kylian Mbappé, who still hopes to appear on the substitute bench, even coach Thomas Tuchel, injured in a foot, was no exception!
Succeeding in qualifying without his best weapons, five months after the emotional lift of the eighth against Dortmund and the incredible paralysis of the competitions caused by the coronavirus, yet it is the immense challenge that awaits Neymar's teammates at the Estádio da Luz, 50 years to the day after the official creation of Paris Saint-Germain on August 12, 1970.
In a match cleaver, which leaves no room for error “a bit like in a C Oops of the world ”, the Brazilian N.10 will finally meet his ambition: to hoist the PSG, which recruited him against the record sum of 222 million euros in 2017, on the roof of Europe.
The new format of the final tournament (“Final 8”), behind closed doors and under high health surveillance, offers a unique opportunity for PSG and its Qatari owners to achieve eight seasons of huge investments. And PSG are only three matches away from this historic consecration.
– Mbappé “will be in the team” –
This is a very important title, not just for the players but for the club. For the supporters this would be something incredible! I came to Paris for this adventure, for this objective, “Thiago Silva, captain of the PSG, told AFP in an interview.
It remains to first eliminate Bergamo, martyr city of the Covid-19 pandemic in Europe and surprise team of the season in Serie A, without Verratti or Mbappé, the two favorite partners of “Ney”.
If the Italian metronome remained in Paris to heal his calf, the three-day training course in Faro allowed “KM” to get back on his feet, returning to collective training less than three weeks after his ankle injury.
From there being able to apply for a starting place against Atalanta? “If he has a good training Tuesday night and nothing extraordinary happens, he will be in the team on Wednesday,” Tuchel told reporters on Tuesday in an optimistic tone.
“We are very happy to have the opportunity to finish the match with Kylian because that gives Neymar a player who likes to play next to him, ”revealed the Parisian coach, who intends to play in a 4-3-3 more playing system careful, where Pablo Sarabia is the favorite to accompany Neymar and Mauro Icardi in attack.
The Parisian offensive line remains worried since the resumption with only one goal scored in 210 minutes of competition, and that it will also be deprived of 'Angel Di Maria, suspended.
– Bergamo without two frames –
To contain the intense pressing of the Italians without Verratti, the host of the midfield, the German technician plans to line up a solid trident around the defender Marquinhos, repositioned as sentry.
C ar Gian Piero Gasperini's Atalanta has established itself as one of the continent's most feared “goal machines” with 98 goals scored in the Italian Championship, finishing in 3rd place.
Like Paris, however, Bergamo will have to do without two executives: goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini and especially striker Josip Ilicic, who scored 20 goals this season, including a memorable quadruple in the round of 16 return to Valencia.
Without the most talented player in the squad, however, the Italian club have other assets to surprise one of the tournament’s favorites.
From creative captain “Papu” Gomez to powerful center-forward Duvan Zapata, not to mention Ruslan Malinovskyi, Mario Pasalic and Luis Muriel, all dream of shining in the eyes of the whole world to pay tribute to the 17,000 victims of Covid-19 in Lombardy .
Fall in the opening of the “Final 8” on the day of its 50th anniversary or launch a formidable two-week adventure: Paris has a date not to be missed with its history.
yk / jed / bk  © Agence France-Presse