UCL Matchday 3 Preview: After Salah and Co. struggled with Koulibaly, next up is the challenge of PSG's 'MEN'

Paulo Dybala of Juventus battles for the ball with Kalidou Koulibaly of SSC Napoli during the Srie A match between Juventus and SSC Napoli at Allianz Stadium on September 29, 2018 in Turin, Italy.  (Sept. 28, 2018 - Source: gabriele maltinti/Getty Images Europe)

Paulo Dybala of Juventus battles for the ball with Kalidou Koulibaly of SSC Napoli during the Srie A match between Juventus and SSC Napoli at Allianz Stadium on September 29, 2018 in Turin, Italy.

(Sept. 28, 2018 - Source: gabriele maltinti/Getty Images Europe)

Here at FirstTouch, our affection and appreciation for Napoli and Senegalese centre back, Kalidou Koulibaly has never been a secret. Time and time again, we have made cases as to why he is one of the best centre backs in the world of soccer today. On one of the biggest stages to showcase yourself as a footballer, the UEFA Champions League, the 27-year-old Senegalese has done even more than that. On matchday 2 of the 2018/19 Champions League campaign, Kalidou was one of the focal points as Napoli outplayed Liverpool to a 1-0 win. In partnership with Raul Albiol, He got the better of both Salah and Sadio Mane. That is, ⅔ of the infamous FAB 3 at his mercy on the day. Wednesday is another opportunity for the Senegalese to bring all his doubters to salvation.


The UEFA Champions League matchday 3 is on us and Napoli will travel to Paris. It’s one of those fixtures you just have to look forward to. Paris St Germain have all the rights to be more than confident heading into this one especially after being the only European club remaining, that has won all its domestic league matches. That is 10 wins in 10 French Ligue 1 matches for PSG. Their weekend fixture against Amiens, where they ran away 5-0 winners is the perfect momentum anyone needs heading into a match of this magnitude. Before that one, Mbappe bagged four goals as they ran riot over Lyon in another 5-0 demolition. Still rolling back the days, Tuchel’s men had beat Red Star Belgrade 6-1 on matchday 2 of the UCL.  A welcome result after the opening loss to Liverpool at Anfield. Napoli have not been bad either, winning all their last three matches in all competitions and more importantly in the Koulibaly conversation, keeping a clean sheet in all the three matches. They currently sit second on the Italian Serie A table, four points behind Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus.

Kalidou was one of the focal points as Napoli outplayed Liverpool to a 1-0 win. In partnership with Raul Albiol, He got the better of both Salah and Sadio Mane. That is, ⅔ of the infamous FAB 3 at his mercy on the day. Wednesday is another opportunity for the Senegalese to bring all his doubters to salvation.
— Dennis Takaendesa, FirstTouch Africa
Kylian Mbappe of Paris Saint-Germain celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the Group C match of the UEFA Champions League between Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain at Anfield on September 18, 2018 in Liverpool, United Kingdom.  (Sept. 17, 2018 - Source: Julian Finney/Getty Images Europe)

Kylian Mbappe of Paris Saint-Germain celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the Group C match of the UEFA Champions League between Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain at Anfield on September 18, 2018 in Liverpool, United Kingdom.

(Sept. 17, 2018 - Source: Julian Finney/Getty Images Europe)

As far as the champions league is concerned, Napoli occupy first position of group C with four points. A win in France would consolidate their position at the top ahead of Liverpool and PSG who both have 3 points. And would surely put them in a good position to qualify for the knockout stages before the return leg in Naples. What’s also true is that all of PSG’s investments and efforts have been towards winning a UCL trophy. With their form and the deadly trio of Mbappe, Edinson Cavani and Neymar, nicknamed MEN, expected to lead their attack on Wednesday, entertainment is almost guaranteed.

It goes without saying that PSG will most likely dominate possession and push through for a win with everything. A draw away from home, will not be so bad for table topping Napoli. Central to a solid Napoli performance to deny MEN, will be the Senegalese mountain man and his defensive partners. He has done it before against Liverpool’s fast and counter attacking FAB 3, my money will be on the African centre back repeating the same feat on Wednesday.