Paris Saint-Germain playmaker Pablo Sarabia is detailing just what his side will need to do in the upcoming UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first leg match against FC Barcelona.
Sarabia has previous experience in facing Barca. The Spanish playmaker had numerous encounters against the Catalan powerhouse during his time with La Liga sides Getafe Sevilla.
As he told PSG TV, this upcoming duel against Barca in the Champions League will be special for him, but he also notes just how difficult of a challenge this match may be to the French side.
“It will be a special game for me,” Sarabia said. “I’ve played against this Barcelona team a lot. It will be a tough game. Barcelona will always be Barcelona. They’re a good side capable of scoring and making a difference on the pitch. We’ll have to have a complete performance offensively and defensively to win.”
In such a tie that will feature two powerhouse clubs, there is one aspect that Sarabia believes must be key for his side over the two legs.
“The mental aspect,” Sarabia said. “In a game, 50% is mental and it will be the same in this one. We’ll need to be focused.”
PSG got off to a rocky start earlier this season but has now recovered in form. Sarabia has plenty of learning lessons and takeaways from the team’s early seasons struggles.
“It was a tough period for us after last season and the lack of holidays we had,” Sarabia said. “Nearly all of us got COVID-19.
“On a personal level, it was hard. I struggled to perform at high intensity because of the virus. I’m ready now and I’ve recovered. I’m going to continue working hard to find my best form.”
“We’re not making excuses but it’s true that the beginning of the season was hard to form a full squad with the injuries and the virus. The coach arriving was a good thing though. The training is more intense that it was previously so we had to adapt. The manager wants to speak to his players and pushes us to be the best we can be by telling us where we can improve.”
With multiple attacking players out due to injury, this may provide Sarabia with a start in the upcoming Barca fixture, which will be a major test for him in the ongoing campaign.
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