Koeman's Barca just lost 0-2 to Sevilla in the semi-finals of the King's Cup.  Photo: Reuters.

Koeman: ‘Without Neymar, PSG is more unpredictable’


Coach Barca believes that PSG colleague Pochettino has plans to fill the void left by Neymar.

* Barca – PSG: 3am Wednesday February 17, Hanoi time.

“You cannot know how a team without Neymar will plan and react,” Ronald Koeman said on February 15, at a press conference ahead of the eighth round of the Champions League. The Dutch coach also suggested that the referees need to “protect” players like Neymar, Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo.

Koeman’s Barca just lost 0-2 to Sevilla in the semi-finals of the King’s Cup. Image: Reuters.

Neymar injured his groin, in the third round victory over Caen in the French National Cup on February 11. The Brazilian striker is diagnosed with a month off, missing both matches against Barca. This is also the third time in four years since joining PSG, Neymar must be a spectator in the eighth round. The only time the most expensive player in the world appeared was last season, where he helped PSG reach the final for the first time.

PSG is absent from Neymar and will put all expectations on Kylian Mbappe – their second most expensive player. “This is not a match between Messi and Mbappe,” Koeman said. “This is a match between two teams, in which Messi is a member. He’s the best in the world right now, and we need a strong Messi to get to the quarterfinals. I believe PSG wants to be the same with Mbappe. “.

Messi is in the final months of his contract with Barca, while PSG is the most chasing after the owner of the six Golden Balls. The French team is entitled to negotiate the contract with the Argentine superstar right now.

Foreseeing backstage problems, Koeman expressed: “I am not sure if PSG has offered Messi. My job is to prepare everything as possible for an important match. Messi still remains.” As a Barca player, and I hope he will give his all to the game. “

Defense will be Koeman’s concern in the match tonight. The Catalonia side does not have midfielder Ronald Araujo, who sprained his left ankle in a match against Real Betis Sevilla eight days ago. In addition, Gerard Pique has just returned to training, after a ligament injury in his right knee on November 21.

* Fixture – Champions League results

Thang Nguyen (according to the Le Parisien)

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