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Steffen Freund on Paris vs Leipzig, Haaland and Lewandowski

The former Germany midfielder looks at a tough assignment for Leipzig and compares the two stand-out strikers.

Leipzig face Paris for a third consecutive season in the competition
Leipzig face Paris for a third consecutive season in the competition

All four German teams are playing away this week but, given their respective positions, Leipzig can least afford to lose.

If Paris are in their normal form, it will be tough for Leipzig to collect points there. I like the open, honest and emotional style of their new coach Jesse Marsch but there are plenty of matters which won't click overnight. This will be a key match for Leipzig. If they want to progress, they need to take at least a point home. If they draw, perhaps in the return match against Paris at home they will be able to create a positive scenario for themselves.

See how Leipzig beat Paris last season
See how Leipzig beat Paris last season

I am also looking forward to the match between Club Brugge and Manchester City. The Belgian side have not claimed four points by accident and they are no longer the rank outsiders in this group. If you look at their draw against Paris, you have to say this was a rather lucky result for the French side.

The style of Club Brugge is very clever and extremely flexible. They know how to sit deep and they are capable of defending up high. They press well in all areas of the pitch. Hans Vanaken is the linchpin of their team and he can read the game unbelievably well. It will be an interesting tie, though Manchester City remain favourites because of their superior individual quality.

Highlights: Club Brugge 1-1 Paris
Highlights: Club Brugge 1-1 Paris

Dortmund's Erling Haaland has already reached a world-class level. I still see him a little bit behind Robert Lewandowski, who has a bit more experience in all facets of the game but Haaland is a player with enormous quality given his age. Perhaps he still has a small technical weakness but he reminds me of Jürgen Klinsmann. He was never better technically than Haaland is today. Nevertheless, Klinsmann was an outstanding player – perhaps the best striker in the world.

Lewandowski remains the best striker in the world today because he has no weaknesses at all. How long will he be able to keep up his brilliant consistency? At Bayern you can keep it up for a bit longer than elsewhere because this team is so strong when in possession. They are constantly occupying the opponents' half and when their pressing is effective, this reduces the amount of hard labour for the striker.

Of course, it also depends on how many significant injuries he has but you can see how professional he is when it comes down to taking care of his body. I see him performing at the top for several years to come.

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