PARIS – Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said on Monday he expects a tough battle against Paris Saint-Germain in the second leg of UEFA Champions League round of 16, adding that his team will try to play their game.
Despite missing Brazilian star Neymar, who is out with a foot injury, home team PSG will try to turn things around after their first-leg 3-1 defeat.
“After the game, for one team it’s going to be difficult. This is how things are in soccer. I would like to put on a good performance on the basis of suffering because tomorrow we will have to suffer. But also to play,” Zidane said in Paris.
Although Zidane confirmed that all his players are available for the game, including Germany’s Toni Kroos and Croatia’s Luka Modric, who have recovered from their physical issues, he declined to give any hints about the starting line-up.
“The players who will start always will be at their best. In this squad I always struggle putting together the starting line-up because all of them want to play. Making choices is a part of my job and tomorrow I will do it again,” he added.
He said that Neymar’s absence will not change Real’s approach to the game, although he is “an exceptional player.”
“His replacement will be very motivated, willing to prove that he can do a big game. This changes nothing. We will face a great team with great players and very competitive ones,” he added.