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PSG star Draxler wants the ball out of MSN’s reach

Midfielder knows it will be hard to stop Barcelona scoring — but believes a goal for his side will likely do

Gulf News

He may be one of PSG’s main attacking threats, but Julian Draxler has urged his defensive-minded teammates to cut out the supply chain to ‘MSN’ to stand the best chance of keeping their four goal advantage and progressing to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

Draxler, who only moved to PSG from Wolfsburg in January, admits that it was “special” to beat a team like Barca in the first leg, in what he feels was his best game for his new club.

Barcelona will seek to overturn the big deficit at home with the attacking trio of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar leading the line.

And Draxler told ESPN FC.com: “For me, it’s not that difficult [to play against the trio] because I’m attacking. I don’t want to be defending against them but I think we showed in the first leg that we have the quality to stop them.

“Of course it’s not easy at the Camp Nou, and it’s maybe the best attack in the world. They can do everything and we’re prepared.

“If the attackers don’t receive the ball, they can’t score. It’s not that easy because you can’t stop a team like Barcelona for 180 minutes ... so it will be sure that they’ll have opportunities to score, you can’t stop them forever.

“But we’ll try to find our space on the pitch and if we score, we have a good chance to go through.”

While PSG may have to contend with the attacking flair of Barca’s South American stars, Draxler believes that PSG coach Unai Emery’s game plan along with Marco Verratti’s ability to pull the strings in midfield will be enough.

The German international midfielder said: “The quality on the pitch is amazing if you see Verratti in the midfield, how mentally strong [Blaise] Matuidi is, and of course (Edinson) Cavani already scored 32 goals or something, so it’s just the quality in the team and I’m proud of it.

“The coach [Emery] will tell us what to do. I think he has a good tactical understanding [and] I enjoy working with him. He’s a really good coach and I hope we can see it at the end of the season with some titles and celebrate together.

“But in my opinion, we shouldn’t be too comfortable because there were other teams that have lost 5-0 in Camp Nou. I think it’s a special stadium, [where] there’s already been special nights.

“The Champions League is the biggest stage in club football so everyone’s been dreaming about the game like this. PSG against Barcelona I think can’t be bigger so I’m really looking forward to the game.”

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