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PSG vs. Dortmund prediction, betting tips & odds for UCL semifinal

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The first Champions League finalist of 2024 will be decided in Paris as PSG, in the hunt for the elusive first European title they covet so dearly, take on Borussia Dortmund at home in the second leg of their semifinal matchup trailing a goal on aggregate.

A wacky and wild first leg in Germany last week bafflingly finished 1-0 to the hosts as both sides failed to capitalise on a host of chances in front of goal. The wastefulness affected both attacking units, but it was PSG who were left with a deficit to make up after Niclas Fullkrug’s 36th minute finish on the counter gave BVB the victory.

Kylian Mbappe was utterly invisible, pocketed by Chelsea loanee Ian Maatsen as the PSG attack largely ran through Ousmane Dembele. On the other side, Man United castoff Jadon Sancho, back at his old club Dortmund, completed an unfathomable 13 successful dribbles, most of any player in the Champions League this season, and was horribly unlucky not to come away with an assist.

Will PSG find themselves 90 minutes from the promised land for the second time, or will it be Borussia Dortmund who have a shot at the club’s second European crown and first in 27 years?

USA: Click here to see the latest odds for PSG vs Borussia Dortmund and bet UCL matches

Despite leading by a goal on aggregate, Borussia Dortmund have garnered no love from the betting market. On the contrary, PSG are solid home favourites for this match in a vacuum, and are also considered quite significant favourites to advance to the Champions League final.

It seems the market largely expects PSG to overcome its first-leg struggles in front of goal, while Dortmund may rue not getting a second goal at home to pad the advantage.

Borussia Dortmund have been strong in this competition, but they have relied on individual performances to carry them through, which are hard to replicate in difficult circumstances such as this. The Jadon Sancho performance in the first leg was the latest, following Julian Brandt’s creative masterclass against Atletico Madrid and the seven-save brilliance from Gregor Kobel against PSV in the Round of 16.

They will need one or more of those players to reprise those roles if they have any prayer of winning at Parc des Princes, as they cannot continue to lean on their back line to bail them out of situations time and again. Keeping Kylian Mbappe down for consecutive matches has proven fruitless so far this season, as Barcelona found out the hard way, and at home the French club should advance to the final in a month’s time.

Like they were afforded before the quarterfinal second leg against Barcelona, PSG were handed the weekend off in Ligue 1 play, having already mathematically wrapped up the league title. However, they’ll be without defender Lucas Hernandez who went down injured in the first leg and will miss significant time with a torn ACL, his second in the last three years. Backup goalkeeper Sergio Rico is out for the season after his horseback riding accident earlier this year, and Presnel Kimpembe remains sidelined with an Achilles tendon injury, but otherwise only a back injury to Layvin Kurzawa presents any kind of concern for head coach Luis Enrique.

Borussia Dortmund are still without Sebastien Haller who has had a stop-start season with injuries and remains sidelined for another few weeks. Donyell Malen returned to the field on the weekend and is fit for selection, should he be selected to play a role. Other key Dortmund players like Mats HummelsKarim AdeyemiNicolas SchlotterbeckJulian BrandtMarcel SabitzerJadon Sancho, and Niclas Fullkrug were all given various amounts of rest for their weekend league game, and should be set for a return to the lineup.

It was astonishing that the first leg only featured one goal, as the sides combined for 27 total shots worth 3.48 xG, missing all seven “big chances” through the course of the 90 minutes. The second half was especially maddening, as neither side scored despite a combined 19 shots considered good for 2.73 xG. 

In all likelihood, that explosive run of play will extend back to this game in Paris, where PSG have only been held off the scoresheet once all year, a 0-0 draw with Lorient way back in their first competitive match of the entire season. They beat Dortmund here in their group stage matchup by a 2-0 score, but even then the visitors put forth 14 shots on the day, only let down by wastefulness with a single effort on target.

In the quarterfinals against Barcelona, Mbappe was silenced in the first 90 minutes as well, only to explode back to life in the return leg on the road with a brace on seven efforts, helped by an early Ronald Araujo red card. It’s reasonable to expect him to lift this PSG side again, as it would be nothing short of Herculean for Dortmund to keep him quiet again.

PSG at home need one goal to pull back level on aggregate, and two to avoid the perils of extra time and penalties. They’ll be on the front foot from the start, while Dortmund will be hoping to play on the counter as they did well in the first leg.

Whether PSG cash in early and run away with it at home, or whether Dortmund keep a lid on the match, Kylian Mbappe will be pushing for goals throughout the 90 minutes. Luis Enrique was stubborn to keep the France superstar at the No. 9 all first leg, but even if he repeats that tactic, the hosts will look to get Mbappe more on the ball in dangerous positions.

Trailing a goal after the first leg of their quarterfinal against Barcelona in which Mbappe was quiet, PSG got him going in the second leg with seven total shots, including four on target and two in the net. There’s no reason for PSG to try and keep a lid on this game either, as they will want to live and die by their attacking proficiency, with Mbappe at the heart of that push.

We were all over Niclas Fullkrug in the air for the first leg, and came away incredibly unlucky not to cash in. The German striker had two solid headed shots in the second half and disappointingly failed to hit the target with either attempt, while he also could have earned a penalty on another where he was pushed from behind and couldn’t make contact.

Fullkrug’s dominance in the air this season is well documented — as we pointed out before the first leg, 25 of Fullkrug’s 58 shots in the Bundesliga this season have come off his head. That represents a brilliant matchup against a PSG side which has conceded eight headed goals this season in Ligue 1, representing a whopping 28% of their total concessions, a higher mark than any other club.

With Dortmund expected to concede significant possession to PSG who are chasing the aggregate scoreline, BVB could rely on set-piece chances to give them opportunities in front of goal, something they are proficient in while the hosts struggle to defend.

In the United States, English-language Champions League right-holder CBS Sports has made this semifinal second leg available only on streaming service Paramount+. However, a Spanish-language broadcast is available on television channels TUDN and Univision, which is available to stream on Fubo, who is offering a free trial for new users.

In the UK, this game will be broadcast on TNT Sports 1, with streaming on discovery+. In Canada, the exclusive home of the Champions League is DAZN.

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