Cape Town - PSG
coach Unai Emery says his side shouldn’t feel inferior to Barcelona
despite their recent poor record against the Spanish giants.
PSG have been knocked out of the Champions League by the Catalan giants in two of the last four seasons.
Emery has won just one of 23 games against Barcelona during coaching spells with Almería, Valencia, Spartak Moscow and Sevilla.
The win was a 2-1 success with Sevilla in the 2015-16 season, while he has been beaten 16 times, with six games ending in draws.
“Everybody knows Barcelona,” Emery told the pre-match news conference.
“We have analysed them and they will have analysed us. I have been
working on our tactical plan and we do not feel inferior to anyone.”
“We have some important players who want to make history with PSG.
Personal duels will be key. Tactics are very important, but it is all
about winning your battles on the pitch.
"This tie is a good opportunity to show where we stand. It's a chance
that we have to exploit. It is important because the Champions League
is an important goal for us.
"We have to take our responsibilities and do everything to win. We
want to measure ourselves against the best teams in the world.”
His opposite number Luis Enrique said that Emery’s experience could help the French champions.
"I can't imagine any manager has played Barca as many times as Unai,"
Enruque said on Monday. "He knows to perfection what we could do and
that's an added danger."
Emery won the Europa League for three consecutive years with Sevilla and was appointed by PSG with European success in mind.
And Enrique said he expects PSG to attack in the first leg at the Parc des Princes on Tuesday.
"Knowing Unai, I am sure they will come straight at us and try to put pressure on us," he said.
"It will be an attractive game, but we have the same target as
always: to keep the ball away from them and to try and create as many
chances as possible.
"It will be a daring PSG side, backed by the home support and trying to make things difficult for us."
Edinson Cavani, the international strike partner of Barca’s Luis
Suarez, is enjoying a great season for PSG, having netted 25 goals in
the league and six in Europe, and much has been made of the battle
between the two.
Barcelona’s Portuguese midfielder Andre Gomes, however, cautioned that the French champions have quality throughout the team.
"They have top quality players; they made some good signings in January," Gomes said.
"Zlatan [Ibrahimovic] has gone, but Cavani is scoring a lot of goals.
Their midfield is very strong; they're a really complete team.
"We're playing at their home and it will be a difficult game. But
we're ready and looking to win the game. Hopefully we can take a good
result into the second leg."