Barcelona will welcome Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday for the first leg of the last 16 of the Champions League with trepidation given their injury problems in defence, but PSG are taking nothing for granted according to a report in Diario Sport. Mauricio Pochettino has made radical changes since taking over in Paris from now-Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel.
The Argentine has changed the routine, bringing back morning sessions and ensuring he has tighter control over the players. He’s also increased the physical load on the players, wanting them to be able to fly on the pitch to be prepared for the crunch games in the Champions League.
This means, however, that the players aren’t fresh, and injuries have arose in recent times. Neymar, Angel Di Maria and Marquinhos have all suffered from muscle problems while players like Verratti and Diallo have tested positive for covid-19. Ander Herrera and Keylor Navas are also both injured.
The decision to replace Tuchel with Pochettino is being questioned in some parts due to its timing. PSG were in a comfortable rhythm with the German and the process of adaptation under Pochettino is proving difficult, especially when the Champions League, PSG’s holy grail, is now in play.