Luis Enrique says Paris St Germain face a tougher task on their Ligue 1 return against Strasbourg than they will playing AC Milan in the Champions League four days later.
PSG return to action after the international break on Saturday behind top two Monaco and Nice, and with former France midfielder Patrick Vieira in the Strasbourg dug out at the Parc des Princes.
“As a player, I experienced it for years when I played for Real Madrid and Barcelona, then I experienced it as a coach at Barça and now at Paris St Germain,” head coach Enrique said ahead of side’s contest with 11th-placed Strasbourg.
Luis Enrique: ‘It would be a mistake to think that the match will be easy’https://t.co/F03SVHCbqJ
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) October 20, 2023
“When players are in the national team, they are always very excited. That’s logical and normal, and I accept it.
“After that, it depends on the match that follows, the opponent. It can be more or less motivating.
“When you’re part of a great team, you have to be able to play even when you’re not optimally motivated.
“It’s not an easy thing to do, especially with these breaks where the first match back is a league game and the next a Champions League match, like the one against Milan, where the motivation will be high.”
PSG must revive their Champions League campaign on Wednesday after losing 4-1 at Newcastle. They beat Borussia Dortmund 2-0 at home in their opening match.
The Ligue 1 champions have stuttered domestically with a home defeat to Nice and three draws in their eight games, although PSG did win 3-1 at Rennes before the international break.
Enrique said: “It would be a mistake to think that the match against Strasbourg will be easy. It’s a much tougher match than the one against Milan.
“For Milan, I’ll have to calm the players down. Whereas on Saturday, I’m going to have to motivate them, get them excited.
“That’s why this match against Strasbourg involves a lot more problems for me, with a very young opposition, super-motivated and coached by a very good coach.
“The first thing to do after a two-week break is to get the players back into the swing of things at the club.
“It’s going to be a special week because there are three matches.”
Kylian Mbappe has not scored for PSG since converting from the penalty spot against Dortmund on September 19.
The four-game run is the longest Mbappe has gone without a goal for the club in five years.
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