Paris Saint-Germain come to Camp Nou full of confidence on the back of a 23 game unbeaten streak in all competitions this season. They lead Group F in the Champions’ League, are currently second in Ligue 1 in France and they are the only side who remain without defeat in the big five European leagues with 15 victories and 8 draws.
Despite their excellent record, coach Laurent Blanc announced to the press that PSG would be concentrating their efforts on “the defensive area”. He went on to explain: “We don’t want to be presumptuous and say we will have the ball. You have seen with other teams that against Barça that is impossible. Barça have in their genes keeping the ball and pinning you back in your own half. With the 40-45% of the ball that we have, we will have to be very efficient.”
He continued: “Barça attack with seven or eight players but on occasions they defend with just two or three. We will sit back, as we were forced to do in the first game, and we will try to win the ball back and do damage that way.” The PSG coach, who spent a season at FC Barcelona in the mid 1990’s, went to suggest that one of his most important players may well come off the bench “for the final 30 or 35 mintues.”
In contrast to the game in the Parc des Princes, PSG come to the Camp Nou without injury worries. In the squad are Thiago Silva, Ezequiel Lavezzi and the former blaugrana Zlatan Ibrahimovic, all of whom missed the French champions’ win over Barça at the end of September. Maxwell and Thiago Motta are two other members of their squad who have a blaugrana past. If you add the class of Edinson Cavani, Lucas Moura and David Luiz, then you have an exceptional squad of 22 players.
The Brazilian David Luiz also appeared before the press at Camp Nou alongside his coach and he maintained that PSG were aiming to “show their strength” in order to “maintain top spot in the group.” He expects a “busy game in defence” and he asked for Leo Messi “to have a rest after all the goals he has scored in the last few games.”