(Translated by Thomas Snaith)
FCB against French teams
FCB´s last fixture against a French opponent wasn’t that long ago. At the beginning of this year FC Basel played against AS Saint-Étienne in the round of the last 32 of the UEFA Europa League. After a dramatic 2nd leg fixture, the Swiss Champions managed to qualify for the next round of the competition, thanks to away goals scored. Several years ago, on their road to the quarter finals of the Europa League, FCB kicked out Racing Strasbourg in 2006 and then AS Monaco. During group stage fixtures of the Europa League, Basel beat Stade Rennais at home (1:0. 2007/2008) and drew 2:2 against AS Nancy (2006/2007). What a crazy fixture! In the last few minutes of the game, Nancy was awarded a penalty. FCB´s offensive player was placed in goal, and saved the the day, preventing Michaël Chrétien from scoring. Unfortunately, it was not enough to qualify for the stage of the last 32 in 2004/2005, after losing 0:2 away from home and drawing at St. Jakob Park.
Emery and Basel meet again
All of the mentioned teams have quality, but PSG is dangerous. It will be the first time that FCB face the current French Champion. When taking a look at past statistics, it is crystal clear that Basel face a very strong side. The side from the French capital have won the title for 4 consecutive seasons. In the Champions League PSG are not only regular guests but have reached the quarter finals on four occasions. This season, PSG´s coach is no other than Unai Emery who is familiar with FCB, as the Basque coach was in charge of Sevilla last season. “PSG do not play like Sevilla yet, but Emery has not coached them for that long. You can definitely see his influence in PSG´s system. Anyhow, PSG play on a very high level and it´s going to be difficult for us.” Stated Fisher at the press conference on Tuesday night.
PSG not yet as consistent as last season
Emery´s start in France was not what he wished for. Last season PSG won the league with 31 points ahead of the second placed team. This season´s first seven fixtures didn’t go that well, losing against AS Monaco and Toulouse FC and drawing against AS Saint-Étienne. The current league table doesn’t look that bad, trailing four points behind first placed OGC Nice, who are managed by Lucien Favre. Geoffroy Serey Die does not see PSG´s hiccups as a weakness: “PSG is a very strong team with individual class. Their quality can clearly be identified when they have possession of the ball. It is important that we don’t let them play their game, especially as we have not come to Paris to take selfies, but to collect points.”
Fischer underlined the importance of the fixture in Parch des Princes: “It is our aim to be represented in European competition in 2017. We need to be brave as well as confident and be ready to show this on the pitch. When analyzing the quality of our opponent, one could say that we have nothing to lose. But we have points to lose.” A draw against Arsenal or PSG would be a big step towards achieving their goal.
All pictures from PSG VS FCB: Click here