The UEFA Champions League round of 16 draw is on Monday, and Paris Saint-Germain can match up against several rivals, including FC Barcelona.
Who are the possible opponents outside of the Catalan side that PSG can face? There is Bayern Munich, Arsenal, Real Madrid, Real Sociedad, Atletico Madrid, and Manchester City.
Nonetheless, for Barcelona, the French giants are one opponent they hope to avoid. According to Spanish media outlet SPORT, there are several reasons why Xavi Hernandez and his squad don’t want to see the capital club.
Luis Enrique, PSG’s manager, is the first reason. He likely knows the squad’s weaknesses, having coached Xavi and watched them while manager of the Spanish national team. As for the other reasons, SPORT says that the presence of Kylian Mbappé and Ousmane Dembélé also raises concerns.
The last time the 24-year-old matched up against Barcelona, he scored a hat-trick at Camp Nou in the first leg. Meanwhile, Dembélé could have a chip on his shoulder to face his former club and can share inside information.
Additionally, inside Barcelona, there is the feeling that PSG will be a team that will improve as the weeks go by.
“They don’t want to see PSG even in paint,” SPORT’s Albert Masnou wrote. “The experiences with the Parisian club have not always been positive, despite the fact that the 6-1 score remains in the culé imagination. Barça wants a weak team to catch their breath and continue adding money to the annual budget.”
While Barcelona reportedly has no desire to play PSG, one Spanish journalist hopes PSG crosses paths with Real Madrid. Nonetheless, it will be interesting to see the outcome for these round of 16 matchups.