FC Barcelona are now on French soil for their last 16 first leg encounter with Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League. Coach Luis Enrique in his press conference ahead of Tuesday’s game in the Parc des Princes revealed: “We expect a tough tie against a daring PSG side who will put us under pressure in front of their own fans. It will be an attractive game between two ambitious sides.”
“I have seen a top quality PSG side over the last few months and I expect the same tomorrow with a 4-3-3 in attack and 4-1-4-1 in defence,” continued the Barça boss. Casting his thoughts back to previous meetings with previous meetings with the French champions in Paris: “We have good memories of this ground because we have put in some good performances here. However, we have never had it easy against, the opposite. We are up against an opponent whose coach knows us really well.”
Luis Enrique identified in form striker Edinson Cavani as the danger man for PSG. “He is a number nine who is decisive in the box but also works hard in defence,” he said. On the possible absence of Thiago Silva he added: “I prefer all the best opposition players to play so we can have a great show.”
On his opposite number, the former Barça player generous with his praise of Unai Emery: “He is one of the best coaches in Spanish football and one of the most sought after in Europe. He is a coach who studies his opponents well, has his own style and his own philosophy.”
Commenting on his own players, Luis Enrique admitted that Gerard Piqué “is a key player for us and for that reason we have had to be careful not to overload him. Tomorrow he will be shape for the game.”
Finally, he restated his philosophy for his team: “Our objective is to be the better team and win, without thinking about the second leg.
“The team are in good shape, it’s a different competition and it’s special for everyone. We want to deserve our place in the quarter-finals.”