PSG go into the second leg of the Champions League semi-final with a one-goal deficit from last week’s match and it’s no secret that beating Man City on their own turf is certainly a big ask.
PSG need to score at least two goals on Tuesday night to make sure they qualify for the final(if Man City do not find the back of the net). And now many pundits and experts are eagerly waiting to see if Mauricio Pochettino can tactically outfit Guardiola or not.
Pep Guardiola is obviously the superior manager but Poch is no muck either so it is sure to be an intense battle, both on the field and on the drawing boards as well. But the PSG manager has largely focused on his team’s mental ability to see this one through.
The PSG boss said in his press conference: “We need to find the balance between our possession and the counter-attacks, we are ready to suffer in certain moments of this match.
“We will need to be clinical, aggressive and we will need to perform for the whole 90 minutes. We need to score two goals to make it to the final, that’s what we will try to achieve.
“It is difficult to talk about the keys to tomorrow’s match. There are a lot of factors that come into play. And above all, the emotional side of things. There are lots of things to consider. It’s not just the tactical side of the game or the formation that we will use. It’s very complex to calculate everything before a match like this.
“We have been trying to instill a philosophy here over the past four months. It’s a long process, but we beat Barça and Bayern. We are here because we deserve to be here, and Manchester City are too. After the World Cup, it’s the most prestigious competition.
“It’s a great challenge to want to win it. Winning the Champions League with Paris would be incredible, the players know what that would mean. We need to believe in ourselves and take on this challenge.”
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The likes of Neymar and Mbappe were of no use in the first leg and there’s a big chance that Kylian Mbappe might be an absentee in the second leg due to an injury. If this happens, then automatically heads will drop inside the dressing room which is why Pochettino has been talking so much about mental cohesiveness and philosophy.
In the same press conference, Pochettino admitted: “We need to see how things go for Kylian Mbappé. He will train individually this evening to see if he can be in the team tomorrow night. We will take a decision this evening. The system will be similar to the one we have been using since the start: being confident in our potential.”
PSG undoubtedly have the firepower to beat Man City but for that to happen they will need all of their players to play as one unit. Players like Kimpembe and Marquinhos will have to ensure that Foden and co do not breach their doors while up front, Neymar and Di Maria will have to go and give their best if they want to play in the final.