Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain played a pair of entertaining matches in group play of the 2014/15 UEFA Champions League, and Luis Enrique expects more of the same today in France.
The sides each lost just one game in Group F, on the road and to each other. Barca won 3-1 and PSG 3-2, and a road draw at Ajax for the French side gave the Blaugranas group supremacy.
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Now the stakes are much higher.
Today in France and Tuesday in Spain, either Barcelona or PSG will advance into the UCL semifinals. And while the Parc des Princes side won’t have suspended Zlatan Ibrahimovic — thanks largely to Chelsea’s Oscar — Enrique is ready for another high-flying encounter.
“It’s a very open tie… We won’t sit back. The objective is the same as always: to win. Seeing the potential of the two teams, it could be a tie with plenty of goals.”
“It’s obvious that they have players out, but in the group stage Ibrahimovic did not play and they beat us. They are important players for them but they have a good squad and they can still make tricky for us.”
In what could be viewed as an unfortunate development, PSG boss Laurent Blanc may be approaching the contest from a more defensive, Serie A-like standpoint:
“We have learned lessons from the game in the group stage in the Parc des Princes. We will have to defend well not to concede at home.”
“We will try to not give them any space, but we also have to try and attack quickly.”
Let’s hope that’s just gamesmanship. Along with Wednesday’s other match, Porto and Bayern Munich, this tie has the possibility of being a memorable offensive feast. Barcelona will seek out valuable away goals, while PSG will look to go to Camp Nou with any advantage.