Paris Saint-Germain have been drawn against fellow nouveau riche outfit Manchester City in the Champions League quarterfinals. Both of these teams were taken over a few years ago, with huge cash injections seeing them establish themselves as two of the biggest clubs on the planet. However, they've both suffered European stage fright: City have never made it as far as the quarterfinals before, PSG haven't reached the semifinals since 1995. Who will be rewriting the history books?
As of yet, no one knows quite how good Paris Saint-Germain are. They're clearly a very good team, and with the addition of Ángel Di María over the summer, they're probably better than ever before. However, their sheer domestic dominance makes the sample size by which we can judge a fairly small one, and there isn't too much to be learned from their first knockout round tie against a Chelsea side still haunted by the ghost of José Mourinho.
However, it's clear that City can't afford to take them lightly. Zlatan Ibrahimović is still scoring hatfuls of goals, Di María's creating almost as many, and Lucas Moura has sufficient pace to comfortably beat any fullback in the tournament in a one-on-one. Against a defense that looks as shaky as City's has recently, the Parisians will be heading into this tie in confident spirits.
Key player: Zlatan Ibrahimović
It's looking increasingly likely that incoming City coach Pep Guardiola's going to have quite the rebuilding job on his hands in the summer. Though City have still got plenty of talented players, many of them are either aging, injury prone, or both. For the time being, they don't look good enough to seriously challenge Europe's best sides in the way that PSG might. Making it through this round would be a significant achievement in itself.
City's strength is their attacking talent, though the hard work of Sergio Agüero and David Silva is often undermined by the defenders backing them up. Captain and star defender Vincent Kompany may well be broken for good, leaving an unconvincing trio of Nicolás Otamendi, Eliaquim Mangala and Martín Demichelis fighting among the two positions at center-back. It's not going to be pretty watching them trying to handle Zlatan.
Key player: Sergio Agüero
Perhaps the only City player who could walk into just about any team on the planet (with Barcelona maybe the sole exception). The Argentine has netted 25 goals in 31 appearances so far this season, and providing he stays fit, City have a chance.
These teams are probably not separated by much in terms of raw quality, though a combination of poor form and injury problems definitely hands PSG the edge. PSG will win by one or two.