C1: Confirmation expected for Paris SG in Haifa
Paris SG are hoping to digest the long-distance trip to Israel as well as possible in their packed schedule and to confirm their good debut in the Champions League in modest Maccabi Haifa on Wednesday (9:00 p.m.) for the 2nd matchday.
After defeating Juventus Turin (2-1), PSG, with its world stars Neymar, Kylian Mbappé and Lionel Messi, are the big favorites on the Mediterranean coast in northern Israel.
“They have enough qualities to distinguish themselves from the rest,” former France international Alain Giresse told AFP. “Paris had a successful start to the season, but they are only measured by the European Cup,” continues “Gigi”, amazed by the form of the “MNM”, in particular “a Neymar as we like to see him, his commitment is remarkable”.
“Messi is more of a mental, moral aspect, he hadn’t experienced a change of club before, he found more composure,” continued the 1984 European champion.
– “Serious in all games” –
Eric Rabesandratana, PSG defender who was eliminated in Haifa 1998 with Giresse on the bench (1-1, 2-3) in the coupe des coupes, has “no worries” ahead of this game.
“What will make the difference is their commitment, whether they arrive as tourists or are determined to make the effort to finish the game,” continues “Rabé”, advisor to France Bleu Paris.
“There is one serious game but this year they are serious in all games,” continues the former centre-back, before adding with a smirk, “Plus, all stats lovers will want to shine…”
However, beware of “a catchy side that resisted Benfica for a long time before losing at the end of the game” (2-0), according to Rabé.
From his talent and current form, a draw and eight wins in all competitions, PSG seems well above Maccabi, where we watch Surinamese midfielder Tjaronn Chery or Haitian striker Frantzdy Pierrot, who comes from Guingamp (2019-2022). have to.
Haifa also have two Frenchmen in their ranks, left-back Pierre Cornud and PSG-trained centre-back Dylan Batubinsika, who played the first leg at Benfica.
Paris coach Christophe Galtier remains cautious. His team struggled to beat Brest (1-0) in Ligue 1 on Saturday after excessive efforts to subdue Juve.
And the intense work continues with a shock in Lyon on Sunday against an OL who has just lost twice in rank and will retaliate.
In the rotation, the technician must take into account the package from Presnel Kimpembe, who is the victim of a muscle injury and will be out for “at least six weeks”, according to PSG.
– Rather Danilo –
Galtier is yet to fully regret the missed arrival of Slovakia’s Milan Skriniar in the transfer window. He has yet to rebuild his three-man defense by bringing down Danilo Pereira or aligning Nordi Mukiele.
“Danilo is very good, prefers Rabesandratana. I have nothing against Mukiele, but it’s a matter of experience. Danilo is better equipped to take on this position and responsibility, he has great game intelligence.”
The Portuguese “has a perfect frame of mind, he’s a soldier,” continues Rabé.
But beware, Maccabi Haifa, the first Israeli club to take part in the C1 in 2002, already abused the ‘big ones’ with two prestigious victories of their day: against Olympiacos Piraeus (3-0) by a hat. Trick by Yakubu Ayegbeni and especially against Manchester United (3-0).
In 2009, Haifa failed to score or score a single goal in a group with Bayern Munich, Bordeaux and Juventus.
And PSG’s last visit to Israel, a little further south, in Tel Aviv, was a success: for Galtier’s first official game, the French champions won the Champions Trophy six weeks ago, beating Nantes (4-0).
That Maccabi is then left with bad memories, having unexpectedly exited the first round of the Coupe des Coupes 24 years ago with a last-minute own goal from Alain Goma. But this time PSG are really much stronger…
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