Paris Saint-Germain may go into today’s Champions League quarter-final second leg at home to Bayern Munich without two of their most important players.
PSG Head Coach Mauricio Pochettino claimed that captain Marquinhos and playmaker Marco Verratti are unlikely to be fit enough to start today’s match against the Bundesliga giants Bayern.
“We will see how Marquinhos feels tomorrow. He should be able to be in the squad, not to start, but he could be on the bench,” Pochettino on Monday told reporters when asked about the fitness of the Brazilian defender.”
Marquinhos scored PSG’s second goal 28 minutes into their 3-2 win in Munich in the first leg last week but came off moments later with a thigh injury and did not play in Ligue 1 during the weekend.
PSG midfielder Marco Verratti missed the first leg after testing positive for Covid-19 following his return from Italy duty alongside Alessandro Florenzi. He has missed PSG’s last three matches.
“It will be difficult for Marco to start, Alessandro too although we are waiting to decide,” added Pochettino.
Meanwhile Pochettino is hoping to avoid a repeat of what happened against Barcelona in the last round, when they won 4-1 away in the first leg but wobbled in the return at the Parc des Princes before drawing 1-1 and progressing.
“In the first half at home to Barcelona we struggled to hold onto the ball,” Pochettino said.
“The approach needs to be different to the Barcelona game. We need to defend well but also try to cause problems to our opponents. That is the challenge facing us.” He added.
The winners will face Manchester City or Borussia Dortmund in the semi-finals.
PSG picked up a 3-2 win in the first leg away to Bayern Munich, while they have won all four of their previous games in which they’ve hosted the German side in European competition (all four in the UEFA Champions League between 1994 and 2017).
Bayern Munich will be looking to progress from a UEFA Champions League knockout tie after losing the first leg for the first time since 2014-15 (v FC Porto in the quarter-finals) – the German side have been eliminated in each of the last four instances when losing the first leg, with all four coming in consecutive seasons between 2014-15 and 2017-18.
In Addition Paris SG became the first team to beat Bayern Munich under Hansi Flick in 17 games in the UEFA Champions League. The German side haven’t failed to win both legs of a knockout tie in the competition since the 2018-19 season, doing so against Liverpool in the Last 16 under Niko Kovac.