Wednesday, May 29, 2024

PSG boss Luis Enrique talks up Real Sociedad ahead of Champions League tie

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 13 Feb 2024

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Paris St Germain boss Luis Enrique has described Wednesday night’s Champions League opponents Real Sociedad as one of the tournament’s best sides.

The Parisians will resume their quest for an elusive Champions League title in the first leg of their last-16 tie at the Parc des Princes and Enrique refused to say his side were favourites.

Enrique told a press conference: “Real Sociedad have a tight defence in the Champions League. They don’t give the ball away easily. We will have to press them aggressively.

“They are certainly one of the best teams in the competition. That is why they qualified as group winners.

“They were in a group with last year’s finalists. They are top level and I’m not going to get into whether we are favourites or not.

“My team has to show that on the pitch. That is where we do the talking.”

Sociedad were unbeaten as they finished top of Group D ahead of Inter Milan, beaten 1-0 by Manchester City in last season’s final in Istanbul.

The Spanish side won three and drew three of their six group matches – they beat Benfica home and away – and Enrique saluted head coach Imanol Alguacil and his club.

“I hope it is not a decisive factor that he has been there six years and I have been here six months,” Enrique added. “I know the coach very well. He is a great coach.

“He is at home with a fantastic philosophy. They bring through many players themselves. They are well balanced. They do well in the transfer market.

“They have been playing really good football during his six years there, and even before that, as there were other coaches who did a great job there.

“So he is reaping the fruits of the hard work by the club. I can only congratulate them. I hope they don’t play as well tomorrow and in the second leg.”

Kylian Mbappe (ankle) is expected to start after being rested last Saturday when PSG moved 11 points clear at the top of Ligue 1 after their 3-1 home win against Lille.

Enrique, whose side are unbeaten in 16 matches in all competitions, has no new injury concerns but is still without Presnel Kimpembe (Achilles), Nuno Mendes (hamstring) and Milan Skriniar (ankle).

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