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UEFA Champions League Preview: PSG hosts Borussia Dortmund, Atletico visits Liverpool, and more

The first four teams to bounce their tickets to the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals will take place this week with two matches each on Tuesday and Wednesday.

In Paris, Paris Saint-Germain will host Borussia Dortmund in an empty Parc Des Princes due to the Coronavirus epidemic. Thomas Tuchel’s side is down 2-1 on aggregate after Erling Haaland propelled Dortmund to a first leg at Signal Iduna Park.

Defending UCL holders Liverpool host La Liga side Atletico Madrid on Wednesday looking to overturn a 1-0 aggregate scoreline. The Reds downed Bournemouth, 2-1, over the weekend in Premier League play, but have it all to do at Anfield this week.

Elsewhere, Bundesliga side RB Leipzig hosts Tottenham on Tuesday while Valencia and Atalanta also square off on the same night in an empty Mestalla Stadium.

Here’s a closer look at this week’s UEFA Champions League action:

Paris Saint-Germain vs. Borussia Dortmund

Wednesday, 4 p.m. TNT, B/R Live, Univision (Borussia Dortmund leads 2-1 on aggregate)

Injuries of Note: Kylian Mbappe missed training on Monday due to illness and is a doubt for the second leg in Paris. However, Neymar and Edinson Cavani are available in attack while Thiago Silva should be ready to return.

Key to the Game: PSG will need to be wary of Borussia Dortmund’s ability to counter attack, so possession will be key. If Mbappe is unable to go, Neymar will be the focal point of PSG’s attack. Dortmund will look to absorb PSG pressure and hit the Ligue 1 side on the break.

Player to Watch: Thiago Silva is likely to return in defense for PSG and could make Erling Haaland’s evening very difficult. The experienced Brazilian centerback played 90 minutes in the first leg and should lead a stubborn backline at home.

Liverpool vs. Atletico Madrid 

Wednesday, 4 p.m. TNT, B/R Live, Univision (Atletico Madrid leads 1-0 on aggregate)

Injuries of Note: Alisson and Xherdan Shaqiri are set to miss out for Liverpool, forcing Adrian to come in as the No. 1 goalkeeper. Despite missing Monday’s training session, Alvaro Morata is likely to feature for Atletico Madrid as well as Thomas Lemar.

Key to the Game: Liverpool cannot afford to sit back and soak up loads of pressure against Atletico Madrid if they want to advance. Offensively, they will need to get after the La Liga side by overloading the amount of players in the final third. Atletico will look for players Koke and Lemar to create chances in the final third and keep the pressure off goalkeeper Jan Oblak.

Player to Watch: Morata has experience against Liverpool from his time in the Premier League and has totaled 11 goals in all competitions this season. His physical presence should give Virgil van Dijk a long evening at Anfield.

RB Leipzig vs. Tottenham

Tuesday, 4 p.m. TNT, B/R Live, Univision (RB Leipzig leads 1-0 on aggregate)

Injuries of Note: Ethan Ampadu and Kevin Kampl headline the likely absentees for Julian Nagelsmann’s side while Jose Mourinho will be without Steven Bergwijn, Son-Hueng Min, and Harry Kane in attack.

Key to the Game: Tottenham were exposed in the first leg vs. Leipzig and easily could’ve been in a deeper hole coming into the tie. Spurs will need to pose some sort of threat offensively with Lucas Moura and Dele Alli the key contributors. Leipzig will look to put the game out of reach and keep Spurs on the back foot at all times.

Player to Watch: Timo Werner was sensational in the first leg win in London and will need to be just as good for Leipzig to go marching on. Werner has 27 goals and 11 assists in all competitions this season.

Valencia vs. Atalanta 

Tuesday, 4 p.m. B/R Live, Univision (Atalanta leads 4-1 on aggregate)

Injuries of Note: Valencia has a lengthy injury list with Rodrigo, Eliaquim Mangala, Manu Vallejo, and Francis Coquelin all doubtful. Defender Gabriel is suspended as well. Atalanta have a healthy squad coming into the second leg.

Key to the Game: Valencia are major underdogs after falling down 4-1 on aggregate in Italy in the first leg. The La Liga side will need to be attacking-minded from the get go to have any chance of pulling an upset. Atalanta will look to put the tie even further out of reach with an away goal or two as Mestalla.

Player to Watch: Atalanta midfielder Alejandro Gomez has been a key distributor this season, registering 12 assists in 32 appearances in all competitions.

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