Hello and welcome to Sportstar’s live coverage of the Group A match of the UEFA Champions League being played at the Parc de Princes in Paris, France.

This is Neeladri Bhattacharjee bringing you the minute-by-minute update.

2′ De Bruyne’s ball managed well by Marquinhos as he clears the ball away

1′ City trying to create something along the left flank, and the ball is move to the right for Walker as Donnarumma takes control of the ball

12:30 KICK OFF!

Manchester City starts from left to right with the host on the other end of the field. Messi is yet to find his first goal for PSG.

12:28 pm: Messi walks out on the pitch with both out and ready with the UCL anthem ringing loud throughout the stadium.

12:25 am: Five minutes to Kick off!

Manchester City has had three games to play this week, which might explain Pep’s policy of squad rotation. Manchester City is unbeaten in 10 games away from home as it takes on PSG in France.

12:15 am: 15 Minutes to Kick off!

The stage os set with M-N-M, Messi, Mbappe and Neymar up front against Guardiola’s City, which is eyeing the Champions league after a loss in last year’s final.

12:10 am: Another fact to keep you predicting odds of success. Messi has scored the most goals against Pep Guardiola in the Champions League – six goals in four games (4 vs Man City and 2 vs Bayern Munich)

11:59 pm: Manchester City is undefeated in the last four meetings against the Ligue 1 side with three wins and one draw.

PSG, however, starts against Man City for the first time with Messi in its side. The stage is well set for a professor vs protege battle.

11:50 pm: Lionel Messi loves to  score against English teams. Remember his performance against Manchester United?

He has scored most Champions League goals against English teams, with 26 goals in 34 games. Will he deliver a similar performance against the other side of Manchester?

11:45 pm: 45 Minutes to Kick-off!

Messi has scored six times in his last 4 face-offs against former boss Guardiola. Will he be able to get on the scoresheet today?

Messi’s peak at the Camp Nou came in Guardiola’s final season there, in 2011-12, when he scored an incredible 73 goals.   –  AP


Keep following this space for live updates.

11:30 pm: Confirmed Line Ups:

PSG XI: Donnarumma, Hakimi, Marquinhos (C), Kimpembe, Mendes, Herrera, Gueye, Verratti, Neymar, Messi, Mbappe

Manchester City XI: Ederson, Ruben Dias (C), Walker, Cancelo, Laporte, Bernardo Silva, Rodri, Kevin De Bruyne, Sterling, Mahrez, Grealish

PSG made four changes while Manchester City made two with Foden and Jesus on the bench today.

Match Preview

There was a time when a reunion between Lionel Messi and Pep Guardiola looked distinctly possible, but on Tuesday they will be on opposite sides again when Paris Saint-Germain plays Manchester City in the Champions League.

Had it not been for Jack Grealish, perhaps things would have turned out differently.

City announced the £100 million ($139m) signing of Grealish from Aston Villa on August 5, the same day Barcelona revealed Messi would not be staying at the Camp Nou.

A year ago, when Messi tried to force his departure from Catalonia, City appeared the most likely destination.

READ: Chelsea’s Kante to miss Juventus trip due to COVID-19, says Tuchel

In the end, Barcelona prevented the six-time Ballon d’Or winner from leaving then and 12 months later Messi was prepared to stay put until it became clear the financial mess at the Camp Nou meant he could not.

If City had anticipated Messi becoming available, it might have moved for him. But instead, it focused its sights on Grealish and was trying to sign Harry Kane, a move that ultimately didn’t happen.

“Right now it is not in our thoughts,” Guardiola said when asked if City might move for Messi.

It says much about the modern game that PSG was the only other realistic destination for the 34-year-old who Guardiola has described as the greatest player of all time.

Messi has played just three games for his new club and is yet to score. He has sat out PSG’s last two matches with a knee problem but the feeling is that Mauricio Pochettino has been saving him for City.

READ: Koeman cautious over Fati as Barca faces Benfica

After being held 1-1 by Club Brugge in its opening game, PSG needs a positive result against City to stop its rivals taking control of its Champions League group.

On the receiving end

Messi will fancy opening his account in Paris on such an occasion, and Guardiola has already been on the receiving end of the Argentine’s genius in Europe.

After Guardiola left Barcelona in 2012 at the end of four glorious years in which he oversaw Messi’s transition from a superstar in the making to the best in the world, he faced his old club for the first time in the Champions League semi-finals in 2015.

Barcelona beat Guardiola’s Bayern 5-3 on aggregate on the way to winning the trophy. Messi produced a sublime performance to score two late goals in a 3-0 first-leg win at the Camp Nou that effectively killed the tie.

The only other time the duo have come up against each other was in the group stage in 2016, just after Guardiola arrived at City.

READ: Man United defenders Maguire, Shaw miss training

Messi scored a hat-trick as Barca won 4-0 at the Camp Nou and he then put his side ahead in Manchester, but City won 3-1.

This time the expectation is both City and PSG will progress from its group and both men are desperate to win the Champions League again — the last of Messi’s four titles came in 2015, while Guardiola has not lifted the trophy since Messi inspired Barcelona to a 3-1 win over Manchester United in the 2011 final.

While the world waits to see how Messi’s move to Paris turns out, Guardiola continues to regret the absence of a prolific centre-forward as the final piece of his jigsaw at City.

That was evident on Saturday when, for all their chances, it was restricted to a single goal by Gabriel Jesus in a 1-0 win at Chelsea.

READ: UEFA nullifies proceedings against Super League rebels

Prior to that Guardiola had spoken of his regret at City’s lack of a “weapon” up front.

“The club needs in the next years a striker. When it’s not possible, it’s not possible, we move on with the fantastic squad we have,” he said.

PSG, of course, have more than one such player. Kylian Mbappe has been the top scorer in France in each of the last three seasons.

Messi left Barcelona as its all-time top scorer with 672 goals in 778 appearances.

His peak at the Camp Nou came in Guardiola’s final season there, in 2011-12, when he scored an incredible 73 goals.

Nobody knows Messi’s game better than Guardiola, but nobody knows better than Pep that there is no stopping Messi when he is at the top of his game.

The game is scheduled for a kick-off at 12:30 am IST.

Where can you watch?

Champions League matches will be telecast on Sony Ten network and can be streamed live on the OTT Platforms Jio TV and Sony LIV.

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