Pochettino: Current form will count for little against Real Madrid

Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid have been drawn to face each other in the marquee game of the 2022/22 UEFA Champions League round of 16.

The Champions League draws on Monday was marred by controversy as a “software issue” pitted some teams who were supposed to be in the same pots against each other.

After the initial confusion which caused some clubs to write petitions and express their displeasure to the media, the draws happened again and the final matchups are just as impressive.

Fans were denied the possibility of seeing Cristiano Ronaldo go head to head with Lionel Messi for what could be the last time in both their careers due to the draw being re-done.

However, the match between PSG and their correct opponents Real Madrid, will prove to be as exciting.

PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino has expressed confidence in his team’s chances despite their new opponents being a much more difficult hurdle to scale than Manchester United.

We face a very tough tie, says Pochettino

After the draws on Monday, PSG’s official media sat down with their manager to get his thoughts on their latest challenge as they march towards their first ever Champions League title.

The Argentine manager admitted that the game will be very difficult. “It will be a difficult tie because they’re a team with a super coach and super players,” the 49-year-old boss said to PSG’s official club media.

“We’ll be facing Real Madrid, who are a team used to winning the Champions League, a team with history and plenty of experience. It’s clear that we face a very tough tie.

PSG have been shaky in the league this season but have managed to remain clear at the top of the table.

They have struggled to break down opponents despite having Messi added to their already talented forward line of Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Angel Di Maria.

However, their form in the Champions League has been a lot better, especially Messi who ended the group stages with five goals from six games.

Pochettino admitted to the team’s shaky form but also believes that it will not matter in the grand scheme of things.

“It [knockout rounds] starts in February, so current form will count for little,” Pochettino told PSG media.

“The important thing will be to be in our best possible condition come February and to evaluate every player individually.

“There’s always an element of luck when it comes to a team’s form. For example, injuries can affect the team. This will be a knockout tie played on predetermined dates when several factors can influence the outcome.

“Of course, we have to be confident. We have a great team and great footballers with lots of talent. I have no doubt that we’ll approach the tie in the best possible way and still with lots of confidence in our players.

“We have enough quality to win this tie and get through to the next round. That’s Paris Saint-Germain’s objective.”




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