For the second time in four years, Paris Saint-Germain holds a significant lead over FC Barcelona in the Round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League heading into the second match. All they have to do is hold on.
On this episode of The 1970, I’m joined by my co-host, Marc Damon, and we spend about 30 minutes or so previewing the big match between PSG and Barcelona at the Parc des Princes with Les Parisiens holding a 4-1 advantage over their European rivals.
The show begins with our overall feelings on the final match of the tie and whether the potential is there for another catastrophic collapse like we saw in 2017 when PSG blew a 4-0 lead. In fact, PSG’s last two managers (Unai Emery and Thomas Tuchel) have blown leads in the Champions League in spectacular fashion, will Mauricio Pochettino reverse the curse?
Next, we discuss the situation with Neymar Jr., who will not be in the squad to face his former team. The PSG superstar has returned to light training but isn’t 100 percent healthy. Should PSG at least have Neymar on the bench to gain a psychological advantage or are they doing the right thing saving him for an intense run of matches in Ligue 1 and the quarter-finals of the Champions League if they advance?
Marc and I agree that the more boring the match is, the better things will be for PSG. If there is a red card decision against PSG and penalty decisions that favor Barcelona, things could go downhill very quickly. Make no mistake about it though, Barcelona’s strategy will be to fall down in the box to deceive the referee and it will be up to PSG to play smart, fundamental football and not let Ronald Koeman’s men get under their skin.
To conclude the show, we give our predictions and look around at the rest of the Champions League competition.
As always, thank you for listening, and be sure to subscribe and rate the show wherever you download your podcasts.
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