Neymar and PSG fancy their Champions League chances after relatively ‘easy’ draw
Neymar’s PSG have been handed the draw that everyone wanted, Italian outsiders Atalanta, this could be their easiest route to the semi-finals in a long while.
It hasn’t been an easy route for Les Parisiens so far especially in the previous round where they had to come from behind against Borussia Dortmund to win the tie.
Champions League triumph has been an obsession for the French Champions and newly structured UCL tournament could be their best opportunity in recent years to finally win it.
The quarter-finals and the semi-finals will now be one-off ties with no second legs, and the final will be played on 23rd August at the Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica.
While other European rivals have been back in action, playing every three days and picking up injuries, PSG have been resting and were declared Ligue 1 champions early in the Covid-19 outbreak.
Their focus now would be drawn towards Portugal in preparation with a number of friendlies followed by French cup finals against Saint-Etienne and Lyon at the end of July, which should see them fully prepared for the start of the competition.
Atalanta, who are still a difficult side, third in Serie A, came through a group with Manchester City and Shakhtar Donetsk. Considering they knocked Valencia out, they can still cause lots of trouble for Neymar’s PSG. Regardless, it’s the opposition that Thomas Tuchel would probably have hand-picked.
PSG winning against Atalanta would see them face either of Atletico Madrid or RB Leipzig in the Semi’s, which on paper shouldn’t be a problem for a side with both Neymar and Mbappe’s qualities.
PSG boss Thomas Tuchel has commented on the potential clash against Atalanta, saying he won’t take the Serie A side for granted.
“Atalanta are a spectacular team,” Tuchel told UEFA.com. “They press hard and score a lot of goals. We must be ready and play cautiously.
“We’re in the quarter-finals and we are here to win it.”
This could as well be the year Neymar could drive the French Champions to glory having been absent for most of the knock-out rounds in past years. Taking PSG to their first Champions League trophy in their footballing history could see him cement his place in elite history.