Mauricio Pochettino has said that Paris Saint-Germain will not have to take revenge when they face Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals after losing to the German side in last season’s final.
Bayern beat PSG 1-0 in the final last year to seal a hat-trick, but Pochettino, who replaced current Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel at Parc des Princes in the middle of the season, said this times would be different as they were playing a two. tie with legs.
“The final is not a benchmark game for us, we weren’t there with my staff, we were just spectators,” Pochettino said ahead of Wednesday’s first leg in Munich.
“In addition, it will be played over two matches, the context is different. Revenge exists in sport but for us it is more of a challenge to beat such a strong team, perhaps the best in the world. a source of motivation. “
Asked about the absence of Robert Lewandowski, Pochettino added: “The strength of Bayern is in their collective. When you win the Champions League and the Club World Cup, it’s because you have a very good squad, not just 11 successful players. “
PSG forward Mauro Icardi is sidelined with a thigh injury while Italy’s duo Marco Verratti and Alessandro Florenzi will both miss after testing positive for Covid-19.
Neymar was sent off in a 1-0 defeat to Lille at the weekend and Pochettino said the Brazilian striker’s emotions got the better of him on his first Ligue 1 start in more than two months.
“He was very excited to start a game. He’s an emotional player, he likes to play, he likes to fight, he’s a competitor. He didn’t deserve that red,” said Pochettino. “But he knows he has to channel himself. I hope tomorrow everything will be fine.”
Flick: Gnabry is dating Covid; PSG a new team
Bayern Munich winger Serge Gnabry was excluded from the Champions League quarter-final first leg on Wednesday against Paris Saint-Germain after testing positive for COVID-19, while midfielder Marc Roca will miss the game due to injury.
Manager Hansi Flick, who has led the club to six trophies in the past 10 months including the Champions League, said Spaniard Roca was injured on Sunday and was out. Gnabry was unlikely to be included due to a sore throat, but the club later revealed the 25-year-old has tested positive and is in quarantine at home.
The two teams met in last year’s Champions League final with Bayern winning the trophy, but that is counting for little now, Flick said.
“Paris is a new team with a new coach,” he said. “I don’t think this game matters anymore. We want to reach the semi-finals and the final. That’s our goal.”
“They have a solid defense, a very good goalkeeper, but up front they have tremendous quality. If we lose possession we have to stop them quickly. We also have to put pressure on them early.
“We have to be confident in our attack, a little more decisive than Leipzig and also be strong from the start. We will have our chances but we have to play them better.”