Pochettino hoping PSG’s home form will improve against Bayern
April 12 2021 10:49 PM
Bayern Munich will have their work cut out trying to neutralise the threat of PSG forward Kylian Mba
Bayern Munich will have their work cut out trying to neutralise the threat of PSG forward Kylian Mbappe (second right), who netted a brace in the first leg. (AFP)

Reuters/ Paris

Paris St Germain coach Mauricio Pochettino is hoping his team’s home form will match their away performances as they carry a 3-2 advantage against Bayern Munich into their Champions League quarter-final second leg at the Parc des Princes today.
The French champions advanced from the last 16 with a 4-1 away win in the first leg against Barcelona before suffering in the return leg at home in a 1-1 draw. In Ligue 1, their best performance of the season came last month in a 4-2 win at Olympique Lyonnais, which was followed nine days ago by a 1-0 home loss to Lille.
“I agree that we’ve been better away from home,” Pochettino told a news conference yesterday. “It is something we will have to look into at the end of the season but let’s hope things start turning around tomorrow.”
PSG suffered in Munich last Wednesday with the German champions boasting 31 attempts on goal, but Pochettino’s team were ruthless up front with Kylian Mbappe scoring a double. They will, however, be without captain Marquinhos after the centre back picked up an adductor muscle injury in the first leg. Pochettino said he would not start the game and later Marquinhos was not included in the squad.
Italy midfielder Marco Verratti is eligible following a weeklong isolation after being infected by Covid-19 while on international duty, but he is also unlikely to start. “In principle, it will be difficult for Marco to start while Alessandro Florenzi’s situation will be assessed tomorrow,” added the Argentine coach.
Italy full back Florenzi also tested positive for Covid-19 upon his return from international duty. Pochettino, who labelled Bayern as the “best team in Europe, best team in the world,” said PSG’s attitude would be key.
“It was already hard to keep the ball against Barcelona already, it doesn’t matter who is playing. It’s a question of collective attitude,” he explained. “It’s a challenge for tomorrow, being able to keep the ball and hurt the opposition. The Barca game is behind us and the Bayern game is another story. There will be moments when we will struggle and it’s in these moments that we will need to show solidarity and solidity.”

Bayern targeting ‘mini upset’ in Paris, says Flick
Meanwhile, Bayern Munich manager Hansi Flick has urged his players to be more clinical and force Paris St Germain into mistakes as they look to overturn a 3-2 deficit.
Holders Bayern dominated for long stretches in the first leg in Munich but missed a bagful of chances in the absence of top scorer Robert Lewandowski, falling to their first loss in the Champions League in more than two years. Flick, however, is confident his side will respond positively.
“We had many chances but we were not as decisive as we should have been and we have to improve,” Flick told a news conference.
“We will do everything we can and approach the game with optimism. We have to make sure tomorrow we show same ambition that PSG showed against us. We have to force them into making mistakes. We know we have to score at least two goals. It will be a tough task, but these are the games we play football for. We want to cause a mini upset in Paris. Of course, we’ll be delighted if we manage that.”
Bayern will have their work cut out trying to neutralise the threat of PSG forward Kylian Mbappe, who netted a brace in the first leg in Munich. The 22-year-old France international has scored 33 goals in 39 games this season, including a hat-trick in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against Barcelona in February.
Flick said Mbappe was well on his way to becoming a global superstar. “Mbappe will be the world’s best in the future, he’s fast, technical and scores important goals,” Flick added.
“Considering his age he’s so well developed.”
Flick said Lewandowski, who trained for the first time since sustaining a knee injury last month, would not make the trip to Paris, but Leon Goretzka, Lucas Hernandez, Jerome Boateng and Kingsley Coman are available for the game.

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