They simply have to win and that matters, right?
Given that PSG pretty much won the French league before it even started, their whole season depends on tonight’s quarter-final second leg match against Manchester City.
In fact, much of next season will depend on tonight’s match, because if they lose, their next meaningful fixture arguably won’t be until the next knock-out phases of the Champions League next February, since they get through the groups with ease these days and will almost certainly walk the league again.
The Qatari-financed PSG project is all about winning the Champions League. While PSG might not win it this year, they at least have to improve on their last three seasons which means earning a place in the semi-finals for the first time in their history.
The deflation on missing out would hang over the club for a long time, and it would rub salt into their wounds to see a fellow nouveau riche club financed by Middle East oil wealth progress at their expense.
So in short, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and co simply have to win. This will drive them on.
They can’t play any worse than last week
Last week’s home leg against Manchester City promised so much for the French club, who came out of the blocks all guns blazing. But then Ibrahimovic missed a penalty, then another easy chance, and their supporters began to get the feeling that it wasn’t going to go as they had imagined. And it didn’t.
But the good news is PSG simply cannot play as badly as that again, especially their second half performance.
The sloppy passes, miscontrolled balls and defensive errors seen in the first leg will be expunged from PSG’s play tonight, because the complacency that probably caused them will not be there.
PSG began last week’s tie as favourites after their impressive win over Chelsea and their dominance of the French league.
But given that Manchester City plundered two away goals in Paris last week, PSG will begin Tuesday night’s tie as underdogs, which should suit them.
They will be back on top of their game.
Their pain will pay off
PSG have gone out at the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the last three seasons, twice to Barcelona and once to Chelsea.
But that wealth of painful experience has got to pay dividends at some point. The fear of missing out again, at the expense of a club that is hardly a giant in European football, will drive PSG on.
Manchester City are at a stage of the competition they have no experience of, which is why tonight the French club will manage the occasion far better than their rivals.
All expectations will be on Manchester City, but the English club doesn’t have the experience yet to handle them.
PSG must score and they have the players to do it
PSG have to score at least once tonight and it’s likely given Manchester City’s own fire power that they may have to score twice.
But the key point is that they have the players to do it.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic won’t have two bad games on the run, surely. He has already been quoted as saying he wants to hurt Manchester City – and he probably will at some point.
Then there’s Angel Di Maria, Edinson Cavani and Lucas and the likes of Thiago Silva and Thiago Motta are dangerous from corners.
And Manchester City are without their key defender Vincent Kompany.
So all in all, it should be a good night for the Parisians. Famous last words?