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French Champions Paris Saint-Germain would go into Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final second leg at home to Bayern Munich without two of their most important players, with gaffer Mauricio Pochettino claiming that captain Marquinhos and playmaker Marco Verratti are technically out of the crunch tie.
Speaking to reporters yesterday, Pochettino, when asked about the fitness of the Brazilian defender said; ‘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,’
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 at the weekend.
Meanwhile, another important player – Verratti missed the first leg after testing positive for Covid-19 following his return from Italy duty alongside Alessandro Florenzi. Verratti 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
PSG are 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.’
The winners will face Manchester City or Borussia Dortmund in the semi-finals.
Bayern on the other hand would have to win by two clear goals to stand a chance of progressing to the semi-finals of the elite competition.
AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK