The UEFA Champions League quarterfinal bout between Paris Saint-Germain and Atalanta is now a mere nine days away. Much of the support for both teams has been split. Many players and managers in Italy are backing Atalanta to pull off the upset. Meanwhile, many in France are optimistic that PSG will advance to its first Champions League semifinal in decades.
Add current AS Saint-Etienne manager Claude Puel to the list. The French manager recently faced the Ligue 1 champions in the Coupe de France final and is among those backing PSG to defeat Atalanta. In speaking to the RMC Football Show on Monday, he backed PSG in its upcoming season-defining fixture and believes that its French superstar will be back just in time for the contest.
“I think so, PSG are favorites,” Puel said. “Especially as I think they will recover Kylian Mbappé.”
As mentioned, Puel recently faced PSG, so he knows just what to expect from such a high-octane team. He spoke about just why PSG will have the edge over the Serie A side.
“The Parisians are less attached to the physical aspects because they have such availability for the ball carrier and so much play,” Puel said. “They can recover by having possession of the ball before hitting. I think they will be ready and Atalanta has also shown some pretty obvious signs of fatigue. I think that it will be open but with a much more positive side for Paris.”
Regardless of who many are backing for the contest, the resounding feeling is that this will be a duel that will live up to the hype.
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