PSG boss Luis Enrique not underestimating Coupe de France opponents Nice

By Sports Desk March 12, 2024

Paris St Germain boss Luis Enrique is treating their Coupe de France quarter-final clash with Nice “like a final” as they look to avenge their league defeat earlier in the season.

PSG have won the competition a record 14 times and will be looking to reclaim the trophy for the first time since 2021.

Enrique’s side have run riot in the competition so far, beating sixth-tier Revel 9-0 and US Orleans from the third tier 4-1 but Enrique knows Nice will provide a tougher challenge.

He told a press conference: “It’ll be a very interesting game.

“One of the teams will be knocked out after the final whistle, so that means it’ll be a very open and complex game.

“There will be high pressing and commitment from both teams. It’s a match we’re really looking forward to, and we’re treating it like a final.

“The Coupe de France is a very attractive competition, just as cup competitions are in every country. They’re historic competitions that lots of fans love.

“It’s difficult, because the games are played over just 90 minutes and then it’s straight to penalties. So tomorrow, we’ll have to be better than Nice throughout the whole of the game.”

Ligue 1 leaders PSG sit 10 points clear the top of the table and have only suffered a single defeat so far, that being to Wednesday’s opponents when they slipped to a 3-2 defeat at home in September.

Despite that, Enrique says revenge will not be on their mind come kick-off.

He said: “There’s not a feeling of revenge. Our game against Nice is our only defeat of the league season, and up until a few weeks ago, they were title rivals.

“They’re a very good team with and without the ball. Along with Brest, they have the best defensive record, and they’re also the team that gives up the fewest chances.

“I like this team a lot, it’ll be a very tough game. But tomorrow there won’t be a feeling of revenge.”

France winger Ousmane Dembele has enjoyed a successful debut season at PSG so far this term since arriving from Barcelona.

Dembele has proved to be one of the most creative players in the league with 11 assists to his name in all competitions and Enrique thinks he is one of PSG’s best players at the moment.

He added: “Ousmane Dembele is one of our best players, and I think he’s one of the best players in terms of winning one-on-one situations.

“We know the majority of teams keep things compact in the middle of the pitch, so Ousmane usually plays out wide.

“But Real Sociedad were pressing well on the flanks, so I wanted to put Ousmane in the middle for that game to better exploit the space.”

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