Paris Saint-Germain will be taking on FC Barcelona in what is expected to be a much-anticipated UEFA Champions League round of 16 clash. Both teams have had their early struggles this season, but still, the tie is well projected to be the headline duel of the round of 16.
Former French forward Ludovic Giuly is very much looking ahead to this encounter between these two European powerhouses. At the moment, he does not believe that either club is viewed as the overwhelming favorite to progress on through to the quarterfinal round. But in speaking to Le Parisien, he noted that there will be one factor that will be a difference-maker in the tie.
“It will be the game of fear,” Giuly said. “Neither team is very confident. Frankly, I won’t bet on either of the two clubs. It will be very, very tight. Whoever manages his fear best will pass.”
While Giuly does not currently foresee a clear favorite in the tie, he does see that Barcelona may have a slight advantage, but not due to either of the team’s current form or play this season. Instead, the former French winger believes that PSG will have added pressure since the club may not have completely gotten over its infamous 6-1 loss to Barca in the return leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie in 2017. In Giuly’s viewpoint, this would give Barca an edge heading into the fixture.
“What will be complicated is that in Paris, and even if we say the opposite, 6-1 is still in everyone’s mind,” Giuly said. “Parisians must be uptight as soon as they hear of ‘remontada.’ In the long run, it is exhausting. I don’t think it’s a good thing for PSG to find Barcelona again. This puts additional negative pressure. It is perhaps the luck of Barca.”
There are multiple current PSG players who played in that 6-1 loss to Barca. And this time around, the club surely would like to avenge that infamous loss.
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