50 mins: And close again! Haaland robs Kimpembe and runs goalwards, but rather than crack a shot with his right foot he tries to cut onto his left, and is crowded out.
50 mins: Close! Sancho taps the ball across goal from just to the right, but it finds a white shirt when anyone in yellow would have had a tap-in.
49 mins: Hakimi flies past Kurzawa and into space on the right. He carries the ball into the area but too close to goal, and Navas comes out to deflect the pull-back out of play.
47 mins: Sancho gives the ball to Mbappé on the halfway line, and for a moment the Frenchman threatens to skip away beyond the defence. But then he doesn’t.
46 mins: Peeeeeep! PSG get the second half under way. I’m not sure they’ve particularly dissatisfied with this scoreline, but so far they’ve been much closer to falling behind than to going ahead.
The PSG players are back in the tunnel. Thiago Silva appears to be leading an animated discussion about something.
Half time: Borussia Dortmund 0-0 Paris Saint-Germain
45 mins: Just three seconds of stoppage time at the end of a first half played at a high tempo and with frequent outbreaks of skilfulness, but with little by way of goal threat. Borussia have had more pace and endeavour, and been the more impressive side by a distance.
44 mins: Witsel wins the day’s first yellow card, halting a PSG break with an overly enthusiastic shoulder charge on Di Maria.
40 mins: PSG have done pretty much nothing interesting or useful in the attacking third. Borussia are getting numbers back when required, holding a highish line, compressing play, and the visitors haven’t found a way through the crowd.
36 mins: Another threatening Borussia break. Can roars down the middle, with Haaland to his right and Sancho to his left; he goes left, Sancho crosses and it flicks off the top of Haaland’s head on its way out of play.
35 mins: Another optimistic shot from Borussia, Haaland slapping an effort wide of the near post from just inside the penalty area.
33 mins: Verratti tries another of his chipped through-balls, this time towards Neymar. Hakimi gets back, nips in front of him and ushers the ball out of play, to which Neymar responds by shoving him in the back and then trying to kick him.
31 mins: Hazard tries to cross from the right but hits it straight into Kurzawa. Sancho, on the other side, is another level of dangerous at present.
27 mins: Save! Sancho curls a shot across goal and Navas, at full strength, pushes it away!
25 mins: Can vaguely touches Di Maria in the back, and the Argentinian goes down as if assaulted. He gets a free-kick, but the referee keeps his cards in his pocket.
24 mins: Sancho bursts into the box and cracks in a low cross, but Navas gets down and holds it. Not much by way of goalmouth action and a little too much free-kick shopping, but this has been a promising first quarter.
21 mins: Penalty shout! Hakimi pulls the ball back to Can, in space on the edge of the area, but he takes an imperfect touch and Verratti gets back to stick a leg out and poke the ball away from him. Can goes down, but there was no foul.
19 mins: Zagadou wins the ball, carries it elegantly into midfield and then, under no pressure, passes straight to a white shirt. Then Can brings down Neymar, who rolls around a lot.
14 mins: Chance for Borussia! PSG have a corner, but Haaland heads it clear and suddenly the home side break. A few seconds later it’s five against three, but rather than pass to one of his teammates Sancho carries it to the edge of the area and then scuffs a shot wide.
13 mins: Guerreiro has Borussia’s first shot. It’s from 30 yards out, and it’s pretty useless, but it’s a start.
11 mins: Neymar takes the free-kick, but curls it a yard or so wide of the near post.
10 mins: Neymar carries the ball from left to right, and after a mistimed challenge comes in he goes down. Quite a long time after. He clearly wasn’t brought down in any reasonable interpretation of the phrase, but the referee buys it.
7 mins: Dortmund push up, and Verratti tries to punish them by chipping the ball through to Mbappé, but the striker is narrowly offside.
4 mins: Di Maria tries to dispossess Can with a sliding tackle, but never gets within two yards of either man or ball. It really is as pointless an attempted challenge as you’ll ever see.
2 mins: Haaland passes back to Sancho from the halfway line and then sprints forward, and for a moment a pass beyond the defence would have released him, but the ball instead goes right to Hakimi. Haaland is unimpressed.
1 min: An early reducer from Kurzawa, who slides in from behind to bring Hakimi down, wide on Borussia’s right.
They’re out, hands have been shaken and coin tossed. It’s football time! Well, very nearly.
The players are in the tunnel! Kick-off in five minutes or somesuch.
“The Question: Is Marquinhos the new Marcel Desailly?” ponders Christopher Faherty, adding: “I don’t actually believe this and anticipate him to be playing centre half regularly before the next World Cup.” I do enjoy a late-career positional shift. Marquinhos is no Paul Warhurst, but still, good effort.
Here, meanwhile, is their handy illustration of Borussia Dortmund’s starting line-up:
Uefa’s official teamsheet has PSG in a 4-3-3 formation, thus:
Thomas Tuchel has confirmed that PSG will not be playing 4-4-2 tonight, though whether they line up as 3-4-3 or 4-3-3 remains to be seen. There’s definitely a front three. I think.
The night’s first key question: does Rio Ferdinand always have such a glittery beard?
Some Borussia-based news from earlier: the club announced the permanent signing of Emre Can, who has agreed a four-and-a-half-year contract. He had joined on loan from Juventus last month with an option to buy for £21m.
The team sheets are in, and the names upon them are these:
Borussia Dortmund: Burki, Piszczek, Hummels, Zagadou, Hakimi, Can, Witsel, Guerreiro, Sancho, Haland, Hazard. Subs: Dahoud, Gotze, Schulz, Akanji, Schmelzer, Reyna, Hitz.
Paris Saint-Germain: Navas, Meunier, Thiago Silva, Kimpembe, Kurzawa, Gueye, Marquinhos, Verratti, Di Maria, Mbappe, Neymar. Subs: Kehrer, Cavani, Sergio Rico, Icardi, Sarabia, Draxler, Nianzou Kouassi.
Referee: Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz.
Will this finally be the year for Paris Saint-Germain? Ten points clear at the top of Ligue 1, they almost certainly have another domestic title coming their way, but their pursuit of European glory has so far remained unfulfilled. If winning is a habit they should be just fine, given that they last lost a game in any competition on the first day of November, when they stumbled 2-1 at Dijon, while Borussia Dortmund have lost two of their last three in league and cup. Curiously, word on the street is that PSG will rip up their tactical template and play without a back four for the first time this season in order to mirror Borussia’s 3-4-3, which seems a big call on the part of Thomas Tuchel, who will already be under the microscope as he comes up agaisnt the club he coached from 2015 to 2017.
You will gather from the above that Neymar is back, having missed PSG’s last four games. “Neymar is very, very good, but there is also Mbappe or [Angel] Di Maria. I could count 10 players,” said Lucien Favre, when asked for his thoughts on the issue. In other words, he knows his side are in for a tough night, which is why he was talking up the appeal of low-scoring football last night. “I prefer to see a nice game, but sometimes a nice game is about good defensive play,” he added. “Sometimes I have nothing against winning 1-0 or playing a 0-0. If there is an offensive style of play, people are happy – but not always the coaches.”
Here’s hoping for a match that makes us all happy tonight.