Paris Saint-Germain manager Mauricio Pochettino dropped a possible major clue in regard to one potential tactical change for the upcoming UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first leg bout against FC Barcelona.
Pochettino will have to go on with a makeshift starting 11 for this key duel against Barcelona. The likes of Neymar and Angel Di Maria will go on to miss this fixture due to their respective injuries while midfielder Marco Verratti remains a doubt for this match.
During the late stages of PSG’s 2-1 Ligue 1 win over OGC Nice, Pochettino experimented with his side by switching the formation to a 4-3-3 setup. The Argentine manager has mainly alternated between the 4-2-3-1 and 4-4-2 formations over his current run with PSG.
Following the fixture against Nice, Pochettino (via Le Parisien) was asked whether this switch was a possible indicator that he will go on to line up his side under a 4-3-3 setup against Barca.
“We want to build flexibility into the team,” Pochettino said. “You know that after 40 days, 10 games, finding the time to work and give that to the team is not easy. We think about the recovery of the players first and foremost.
“We won’t have much time between now and Tuesday to work. That’s the challenge, getting this team to play in different systems, going from 4-2-3-1 to 4-3-3 to 4-4-2 … with different offensive animations too.
“We had found it at Tottenham with time. If and when we have the time, I’m sure we’ll find it in Paris. We are incorporating concepts, but we still need time.”
Pochettino also touched on the mentality for the Barca fixture and what the team’s coaching staff has planned in preparations for this duel.
“The priority will be recovery,” Pochettino said. “We will make video sessions. We will transmit a lot to the players thanks to the images since our arrival. It will be a lot of communication, more mental than physical preparation. That’s what this period requires.”
The first leg of this tie will be held this Tuesday.
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