PSG have the players to stop Pogba, insists Draxler

By Sports Desk February 11, 2019

Paris Saint-Germain have players capable of stopping Paul Pogba in Tuesday's Champions League clash, Julian Draxler insists.

The Ligue 1 leaders head to Old Trafford for the first leg of their last-16 tie against a United team who have shown resurgent form under caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Saturday's 3-0 defeat of Fulham was their 10th win in 11 games in all competitions since Solskjaer took over from Jose Mourinho in December.

Pogba has been instrumental in their improved run, his two goals against Fulham taking his tally to 11 in the Premier League this term, a personal best in a single season in top-flight football.

Draxler, though, is confident his team-mates can keep Pogba quiet, telling a news conference: "They have got some great players at Man United, especially in midfield, with Pogba and [Nemanja] Matic. They will be key in the game.

"But we've got a lot of quality, too. Our players are more than capable. We stopped Paul sometimes in games between Germany and France.

"We'll see what he does. He can do everything, but we've got players capable of stopping Paul."

Tuesday's game will see Angel Di Maria face his old club for the first time in a competitive match since he left for PSG for a reported £44million in 2015.

With Neymar and Edinson Cavani out injured, Draxler hopes he and Di Maria can produce a positive display.

"I was asking him some things about Man United, but I won't tell you what he said - it was nothing bad!" Draxler said. "We will need him without Cavani and Neymar. Hopefully, he gives a good performance.

"I don't really know what position I will be playing, but I'm comfortable in lots of positions. I'm not the same type of player as Neymar and, clearly, we'll miss him. I'll try to put in a great performance."

Draxler does not consider either side to be favourites but is confident PSG will be able to overturn any negative result in the second leg at Parc des Princes on March 6.

"Everyone knows that there are two good teams," he said. "Everyone should be ready to watch the match because it's one everyone wants to see. I don't know if United are favourites or us. For me, it's not important.

"You'll never win a game by talking lot before the game. It's what happens on the pitch that counts.

"We're expecting United to play in the same way they have been playing recently. But it's not all or nothing [on Tuesday]. There is the second leg at our ground."

Related items

  • Reus and Piszczek still out for Borussia Dortmund Reus and Piszczek still out for Borussia Dortmund

    Borussia Dortmund will again be without both Marco Reus and Lukasz Piszczek for Sunday's Bundesliga game against Bayer Leverkusen, head coach Lucien Favre has confirmed.

    Reus, struggling with a thigh issue, has been out since the defeat to Werder Bremen on penalties in the DFB-Pokal, while Piszczek has missed the last three games with a heel problem.

    Dortmund’s season has threatened to derail in their absence, with three consecutive Bundesliga draws cutting their lead at the top to just three points, while Favre's men lost their Champions League last-16 first leg 3-0 at Tottenham.

    And neither Reus nor Piszczek will be back to feature against Leverkusen at Signal Iduna Park.

    "Both will not play on Sunday," Favre told a pre-match news conference.

    Marius Wolf and Thomas Delaney are also doubts, having not trained with the rest of the team on Friday, but Manuel Akanji is close to full fitness.

    Leverkusen are coached by former Dortmund boss Peter Bosz, with BVB sporting director Michael Zorc acknowledging: "When we play against Leverkusen, both clubs know each other very well.

    "There are few secrets. This match will depend on which team performs their game the best."

  • I wish it wasn't 6-0 - Guardiola fears fuelling Chelsea fire I wish it wasn't 6-0 - Guardiola fears fuelling Chelsea fire

    Pep Guardiola fears Manchester City's 6-0 thrashing of Chelsea could prompt a Wembley backlash in Sunday's EFL Cup final.

    Sergio Aguero hit a hat-trick as the reigning Premier League champions ran riot at the Etihad Stadium earlier this month.

    City are also aiming to retain the EFL Cup, which they won with a 3-0 victory over Arsenal last term, but Guardiola feels the motivation for revenge among Maurizio Sarri's under-fire squad will be strong.

    "In that moment I was so happy we beat them 6-0. At this moment today, I would prefer not to have won 6-0 against Chelsea," he told a pre-match news conference.

    "I don't like to play in a short period of time with one team when you beat them before, I don’t like it too much. In part for us, in part for the opponent.

    "They are incredible professional players, they are proud and they will do extra.

    "When we lost 2-0 at Stamford Bridge [in December] we could not accept the defeat again here at home.

    "It is what it is. We are going to face it mentally as well as possible, play the final and improve the type of games we have to play when we are in finals."

    A 2-0 reverse against Manchester United compounded matters for Guardiola's friend and counterpart Sarri, with speculation mounting that the former Napoli boss' job is on the line.

    Parallels have been drawn between Chelsea's woes and Guardiola's uneven first campaign in Manchester, but the Catalan feels he benefits from boardroom support denied to Sarri and his predecessors, such as Antonio Conte.

    "The situation, I think is a little bit different. In my first year the club never doubted me," he said.

    "It was never released in the media that the people are going to sack me if I lose this game or another game. It never happened.

    "It surprised me when Conte won the title and they lose one or two games at the start of the next season and people said he was going to be sacked. The situation is completely different.

    "My opinion about Sarri and his teams is always high. I reviewed the game against us and people don't believe me but they did incredible things.

    "They made mistakes on the first and third goal and Sergio scored an incredible goal. Then it is difficult for the manger and the team, but they did many, many good things.

    "I spoke with my staff and they had the same opinion. We were so clinical in that game, the first four or five times we arrived we scored goals."

    Chelsea's preparations for Sunday's showpiece were unhelpfully hit by news FIFA have punished the club with a two-window ban on registering new players after they contravened rules relating to the signing of youth footballers.

    "In the future, I don't know [what the impact will be] because I am not at Chelsea," Guardiola added. "In terms of the game, not any impact for the players.

    "They will be focused and the manger will be focused to win the game against us."

  • Tuchel hopeful of new Alves deal at PSG Tuchel hopeful of new Alves deal at PSG

    Thomas Tuchel is hopeful Dani Alves will agree a new contract with Paris Saint-Germain as he confirmed the player is in negotiations with the club.

    Alves has become a key man since joining PSG from Juventus in 2017, but the two-year deal he signed at Parc des Princes expires at the end of this season.

    Reports in recent days suggested the Ligue 1 champions had taken steps to extend the right-back's stay in the capital for another year, though.

    And while head coach Tuchel is not involved in the talks, he is keen to see a positive outcome.

    "[Negotiating contracts] is not my job," he told a news conference ahead of the clash with Nimes. "Dani is Dani. He is very important, and his attitude is great.

    "But I am not involved in these negotiations. I hope the club and his agents will come to an agreement."

    Meanwhile, Tuchel confirmed that only Neymar and Edinson Cavani are certain to miss Saturday’s Ligue 1 clash.

    However, he is wary of risking those who are showing signs of fatigue, with a Coupe de France meeting with Dijon and a league game at Caen to come before the Champions League last-16 second leg against Manchester United on March 6.

    "Only Neymar and Cavani will be absent. All the others are available," he said. "There is fatigue and some small injuries, but nothing serious.

    "[Thomas] Meunier will definitely be back and [Juan] Bernat is available.

    "There are some guys who have played six or seven consecutive matches. We must be attentive and take stock with the medical staff and players.

    "It is hard to do, but we must protect the players."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.