By Tim Stannard
Champions League clash sees an untested PSG attack take on an improvised Real Madrid defense
If Tuesday's Champions League results matches are an indication then today could well be taking another trip into Bizarro-Land.
Napoli gave the previously imperious Champions League holders something to think about with a 2-0 victory over Liverpool.
A supposed mess of a Valencia team with a playing staff in revolt grabbed a 1-0 win at Chelsea while a predicted goal-scoring funfest in Germany between Borussia Dortmund and Barcelona turned into a goalless draw.
And that's not even mentioning the result that stopped the planet - RB Salzburg's 6-2 rout of Genk, which saw a hat-trick from the Norwegian Messi, Erling Haaland, to make it six goals in a week for the 19-year-old.
There is great potential for mayhem across the Old Continent but especially in Paris in a clash that will be predictably unpredictable with a makeshift PSG forward line taking on a makeshift Real Madrid defense.
Neymar (suspension), Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani will all be absent for the home team while Real Madrid are missing the suspended Sergio Ramos and Nacho, and the injured Marcelo. Eder Militao is expected to make his debut alongside Raphael Varane.
One player who was in a fairly threadbare squad that made the trip to Paris is Eden Hazard. The Belgian made a substitute appearance against Levante at the weekend but Coach Zizou says that the footballer "is ready to start" against PSG.
At least someone is.
There is a bumper day for the Sports Burst live show on the cards with the normal 12PM ET edition followed by a Champions League wrap-up after the final whistles have blown. Just head to our beIN SPORTS USA Facebook page.
City without a defense while Ronaldo seeks world domination
Elsewhere, Manchester City are set to face the next month with one functioning center back after John Stones joined the injury list for Pep Guardiola. And the phrase 'functioning' is being stretched a little considering the defender in question is Nicolas Otamendi. "An incredible challenge" said Pep Guardiola in full positivity mode ahead of today's Champions League clash at Shakhtar Donetsk.
That's one way of describing it.
PEP: Football is not how you handle good situations, but how you handle bad ones.— Manchester City (@ManCity) September 17, 2019
We won seven titles and no one gave us anything, we did it ourselves. I am ready for the challenge. I like this situation.
Normal reality suggests a grinding goalless draw between Atletico Madrid and Juventus in the Wanda but with this week being full of the weirdness, something quite different could be on the cards.
Both teams are looking to bounce back from indifferent results at the weekend. Cristiano Ronaldo will certainly be up for that having announced in an interview with English TV that he is "addicted to success" and is looking to rack up seven or eight Ballon d'Or wins, just to crush Messi into the ground a little.
Just time to mention that South America is in full cup action today. Oh yes, the Copa Sudamericana semifinals are underway with the Brazilian giants of Corinthians taking on Independiente del Valle live on beIN SPORTS at 8:30PM ET / 5:30PM PT.
Curry promises to spice up Team USA basketball team
Steph Curry has stepped up to hopefully ensure that the Team USA basketball team does not suffer the same indignant fate as the FIBA World Cup roster by committing to take part in the 2020 Olympics in Japan. "Definitely wanna go," said Curry to ESPN to trigger a potential all-star team.
The recent effort in Japan at the World Cup produced a seventh-place finish with what can politely be called a scratch squad. The US has won the last three Olympic gold medals in the men's event.
New Orleans Saints quarterback, Drew Brees, is set to have surgery on his throwing hand on Wednesday after suffering reported ligament damage during Sunday's loss to the Rams.