There is no test like Champions League.
The pressure is on and fans all over the world are finding out if Lionel Messi and company are still giants in world football.
It’s a chance to prove the doubters wrong.
The luminaire could not have come at a better time.
PSG are without Neymar and Barcelona have seen unbeatable domestic.
Will Barca be humble, or is this just the beginning of an unexpected race to become kings of Europe?
Barca have been on both sides of the Champions League comebacks.
As fans, we live and die for these moments.
A major criticism of the Ernesto Valverde era was the lack of visible tactical vision in knockout games.
How will Ronald Koeman approach the game?
Barca could play risk-taking. This would mean intentionally dominating possession. If the game remains low scored, it’s someone’s game in the other leg.
Or especially when he saw an opportunity with Neymar’s absence, Koeman could see this as an opportunity to green light on his side in the attack.
We know PSG will look to take advantage of Kylian Mbappe’s speed.
Barca could counter that by taking advantage of Ousmane Dembele’s pace on the wing and Messi who will linger at the top ready to jump with a moment’s notice.
If they go this route, Frenkie de Jong will have to continue driving runs in the box. It would also help to have Jordi Alba and Sergino Dest to be as aggressive as possible on the overlap.
If they go this route, the danger will be whether Sergio Busquets and the defensive line are ready to be counterattack killers at the other end.
We know this is an area that desperately needs to be cleaned up.
In the Champions League, a lack of concentration will put an end to your chances just as much as anything else.
It is necessary at both the offensive and defensive end.
Will Antoine Griezmann take home his first opportunity?
Will Barcelona mark tight and strong on defensive set pieces?
How much risk is this team considering their recent track record willing to take while playing out of the back?
Ultimately, being mentally ready to play has a lot to do with confidence and the desire to win.
Barca have won too late and overcome adversity. They are in the highest confidence.
But how bad these players will win will be at full screen. Once you are fully focused and committed to the mission, you will enter the zone of a true competitor.
Making mistakes becomes less likely. Taking advantage of your opponent’s mistakes on the other hand is where you win the game.
Messi is at his best when the team plays well as a whole.
Lucky for Barca, La Pulga has found his touch again in almost every area of his game. This means that magic at any time is a possibility.
But it is nothing to trust.
Ousmane Dembele’s presence is a fear factor for PSG. If Barca can establish him early, the game opens up.
Having Pedri and Frenkie in advanced and aggressive positions adds another dimension for the Parisians to contend with.
If the ball moves fast and Barca plays unpredictably over, around and through as needed, the talent on the pitch takes care of the rest.
Whoever it is when the big moment presents itself must make it count.
We are ready for a good one! Visca Barca.
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