Paris/Berlin Apr 12 (EFE).- A cautious Paris Saint-Germain will host Bayern Munich hoping to repeat the great performance that earned them a 3-2 win in the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinal.
The clinical attacking duo of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe led PSG to a first-leg victory, while goalkeeper Keylor Navas was still called into play to minimize the damage Bayern are capable of causing despite lacking their usual edge.
“For me, anything can happen. Bayern are the best team in the world at the moment,” PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino said during a press conference on the eve of Tuesday’s game.
“I have enormous respect for them, but at the same time, we have confidence in our strengths, and we know that we have to think about winning this match,” the Argentine added.
An important 4-1 win over Strasbourg in the French league this weekend as well as the possible return of Marco Verrati — who missed the first leg having tested positive for the coronavirus — could boost the French club’s hope for avenging their 1-0 defeat to Bayern in last year’s final.
To defend the title, Bayern have a huge mountain to climb and will continue to do so without Robert Lewandowski, whose killer instinct was missed in the first leg, when the German team created and squandered many chances.
Alongside the Polish player, the injury list includes Serge Gnabry, quarantined due to the coronavirus, and Leon Goretzka, who is struggling with muscle issues.
The game comes amid an internal rift between coach Hansi Flick and sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic, which has fueled doubts about the German’s future at the helm of the first team.
“It will be a tough task, but these are the games we play football for,” Flick said during a press conference ahead of the game.
“We want to cause a mini upset in Paris. Of course, we’ll be delighted if we manage that,” he added. EFE