pivotal moment for PSG, in Turin to finish the job

Missing Neymar Jr, PSG can rely on Leo Messi and Kylian Mbappé this Wednesday (9 pm) at Juventus Turin. PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA / AFP

FOR REVIEW – Already qualified for the round of 16 of C1, the Parisians, against Juve this Wednesday, have yet to win first place in their group.

An ambition and a duty“. This is how Christophe Galtier described the search for first place in Group H, the one that will serve as a beacon for PSG in Turin this Wednesday (9 pm), on behalf of the sixth day of the Champions League. Vital ? The qualification is . After the card against Maccabi Haifa (7-2) last week, with “MNM” in the merger and sharp transfers at will, deadly, it is already in the pocket. and “it is more pleasantto approach this meeting under these conditions, the Parisian coach will not say otherwise. Especially since his team is at the pole in the standings, with the same number of points as Benfica (11) and a better goal difference (+8 against +4). Clearly, PSG’s fate is in its hands, even if victory does not necessarily achieve its goal. If they do better in Turin than the people of Lisbon in Israel, it will be in the pocket, without having to take out the calculator.

Not important, therefore, this first place, but highly valued. And not just for a question of prestige. Finishing top would guarantee a round of 16 return to the Parc des Princes and, more importantly, selection of the runners-up in Monday’s draw. This will allow for example to avoid Bayern, Manchester City or Chelsea. Maybe Real Madrid too. “We know the outcome of the draw when we are second“Galtier summarizes. We have this ambition, it is a very important sporting goal. We talked about it with the players, we’re all focused on it. We are the ones with the ambition and duty to finish first to wait for a looser draw. We are determined, very motivated, to get this first place.“A more lenient draw, yes. This is for example what we would say if Frankfurt or Bruges came out of the hat. Dortmund and Inter Milan, still difficult. But not as much as Liverpool, second in their pool behind Naples and may have regained their colors in February and March, after a failed start to the season (9th place in “PL”).

sick old woman

Winning 2-1 in the first leg, the Parisian should however be wary of the thought that Juve will not put up a fight. Because it’s Juve,”a historical club“As Sergio Ramos recalls, the talisman of a PSG under his colors has never known the pain of defeat (30 matches). Above all that the team of Turin, which has certainly been deprived of some with its best elements (Pogba, Vlahovic, Di Maria…) and average seventh in Serie A 10 points behind the Neapolitan leader, will aim for the third place which is synonymous with climbing to the 16th of the Europa League , “a great competitionsaid Max Allegri. “The fire is strong, I am still very angry “, plague the Italian coach, his players hope”Furiousat the idea of ​​not being part of the spring party at C1. “Need a reaction, the men got it in Lecce (1-0 win)“, he underlined before addressing “one of the strongest teams in the world“.

A Parisian team that certainly has immense character and unrivaled attacking potential, but will be without one of its three attacking stars, Neymar, who is suspended. Presnel Kimpembe and Keylor Navas will also be missing. But it’s his players’ defensive errors that tickle Galtier most. Especially in the set piece: “I was very annoyed after the last two matches. There are positions that are not good, not respected, but it is also a question of state of mind, commitment and sacrifice. We lose a lot of second balls in the area in set pieces. This shows a lack of concentration and investment. It needs to be fixed.»

With the profile of our players and the way we play, there will be some imbalance at some point. But…

Christophe Galtier

Last Saturday against Troyes (4-3), we also saw the very reliable Parisians on the move. “Do we have to live in imbalance? Nope. With the profile of our players and the way we play, there will be some imbalance at some point. But on the reaction to the loss, I spoke about it, I will talk about it again tomorrow (this Wednesday), sometimes there is desire but no intensity, there are restraints. Especially in the last match in the league, we were very close to the ball and the opponent without winning any duels. We must fix it with greater commitment and perhaps also with more business at times, make tactical mistakes, to stop moves that could be dangerous.“, Underlines the former coach of ASSE, Lille and Nice, who also believes that”the main reason for eliminationof the Old Lady lies in the wounds. “If people think this is going to be a less tense game than the others, it won’t be. We know we will face a Juventus who will do everything to qualify for the Europa League“Swears the 56-year-old technician.

Banish the ghosts of the past

It is up to the Parisians to assert their own goals. An important moment in the season for the capital club, knowing that first or second place can change everything. City topped their group last season, the Rouge et Bleu were sent into the hands of Real. We know the rest…”Sometimes the matches are not reasonable, with changes in the situation“, underlined Christophe Galtier, but stands by that”PSG is about to win a trophy. Obviously, we hope it will be this year, but it hasn’t played out that much in previous seasons and the scenario against Real is unbelievable. There are many hopes and expectations, but the club, the president, the sports management are doing everything so that we can, one day, win this wonderful trophy.“It might not be a great performance this Wednesday night on Juve’s turf, who knows.

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