Why Roberto Firmino could again be key to ending PSG’s Champions League run

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Liverpool take on PSG at the Parc des Princes tonight in the Champions League (8pm GMT). Here are all the key stats and facts ahead of kickoff.

Liverpool’s Record in France

In 14 away fixtures played in France, Liverpool have won five and lost seven with two draws.

The first four of those encounters ended in defeat and only one victory and two goals came from the first seven trips across the channel.

However, the Reds have won four of the last seven with only one defeat—to a Lille side in March 2010 containing Eden Hazard.

Home and away against French opponents the Reds have won 17, drawn three and lost nine of 29 meetings.

No Liverpool player has ever scored a hat-trick against a club from France.

 

Firmino’s Champions League Joy

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, October 24, 2018: Liverpool's Roberto Firmino celebrates scoring the first goal with team-mates during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Liverpool FC and FK Crvena zvezda (Red Star Belgrade) at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Roberto Firmino has played in every one of Liverpool’s 32 European games under Jurgen Klopp.

Firmino and Mo Salah both have 13 goals for Liverpool from 19 European Cup appearances. Only Steven Gerrard (30) and Ian Rush (14) have scored more.

Since the start of last season Firmino has been involved in 19 Champions League goals, with 12 goals and seven assists.

 

The Battle of the Front Threes

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, November 27, 2018: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah during a training session at Melwood ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Paris Saint-Germain and Liverpool FC. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The front three of Liverpool and PSG scored a combined total of 180 goals for their clubs last season—Liverpool 91 (Salah 44, Firmino 27, Mane 20) and PSG 89 (Cavani 40, Neymar 28, Kylian Mbappe 21).

They have already scored 57 between them during this campaign—so 237 in total; Liverpool 112, PSG 125.

 

The 150 Club

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, October 23, 2018: Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum during a training session at Melwood Training Ground ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Liverpool FC and FK Crvena zvezda (Red Star Belgrade). (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Gini Wijnaldum could make the 150th appearance of his career with English clubs.

James Milner could play his 150th game for Liverpool.

 

Formidable PSG

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, September 18, 2018: Paris Saint-Germain's Juan Bernat and Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Liverpool FC and Paris Saint-Germain at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

In the last seven seasons PSG have played 40 group games, winning 26, drawing eight and losing six. They have not lost at home in that time, winning 15 with five draws.

Only once in those 20 games have they failed to score—against Real Madrid in 2015—while they have scored 56 and conceding 14.

In their last seven Champions League games at home they have scored 28 times.

They have found the net in each of the last 20 European games since losing 1-0 at Manchester City in 2016 and have scored in each of the last 18 group fixtures.

PSG have lost only two of their last 49 home games in Europe, both to Spanish teams. Barcelona winning in 2014/15 and Real Madrid last season.

Their defeat at Anfield two months ago was the first time they had ever lost four successive games in Europe and if they don’t win this game it will be the first time they will finish with fewer than three wins in a Champions League group stage.

 

Tonight’s Ref

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 6, 2017: Referee Szymon Marciniak during the UEFA Champions League Group E match between Liverpool FC and FC Spartak Moscow at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The referee for this fixture is Poland’s Szymon Marciniak.

Liverpool have won both times he has taken charge of them—7-0 against Spartak Moscow last season and Besiktas (1-0) in 2015. Both games were at Anfield.

PSG also have a 100 percent record when he has reffed them—they beat Barcelona 4-0 in Paris in 2017.

He recently handled England’s 3-2 win in Spain and was the man in the middle for the Super Cup clash back in August when Atletico Madrid beat city neighbours Real 4-2.

 

This Season’s Scorers

Liverpool's Roberto Firmino celebrates after scoring his teams first goal during the UEFA Champions League match at Anfield Stadium, Liverpool. Picture date 24th October 2018. Picture credit should read: Matt McNulty/Sportimage

PSG: Mbappe (13), Neymar (13), Cavani (10), Di Maria (7), Draxler (3), Meunier (3), Diaby (2), Nkunku (2), Rabiot (2), Weah (2), Bernat (1), Choupo-Moting (1), Marquinhos (1), own goals (1)

Liverpool: Salah (9), Mane (7), Firmino (5), Sturridge (4), Milner (3), Shaqiri (2), Alexander-Arnold (1), Matip (1), Wijnaldum (1), own goals (1)


* All statistics courtesy of Liverpool statistician Ged Rea (@ged0407).

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