Big bucks un­der pres­sure to de­liver

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES SPORT -

Manchester: One of Europe’s tra­di­tional fi­nan­cial pow­er­houses Manchester United meet the nou­veau riche Paris Saint-Ger­main as the Cham­pi­ons League last 16 gets un­der­way on Tues­day with both sides hop­ing to fi­nally reap some re­ward on the big­gest stage from record lev­els of in­vest­ment. De­spite splash­ing hun­dreds of mil­lions on new play­ers since tak­ing over in 2011, PSG’s Qatari own­ers have not been able to buy suc­cess in the com­pe­ti­tion they crave the most with four suc­ces­sive quar­ter­fi­nal ex­its be­tween 2013 and 2016 the fur­thest they have pro­gressed.

Barcelona and Real Madrid have ended the French cham­pi­ons’ dreams at this stage in each of the past two sea­sons.

Once again in the last 16, PSG must face one of the few clubs in the world that can boast greater rev­enue than they can thanks to United’s com­mer­cial power and the riches of the Pre­mier League’s TV con­tracts.

But, un­like the two Span­ish gi­ants who have used their fi­nan­cial mus­cle to win seven of the last 10 Cham­pi­ons League ti­tles be­tween them, United have made even less of an im­pres­sion on the com­pe­ti­tion than PSG since mak­ing three fi­nals in four years be­tween 2008 and 2011.

Both clubs can be ac­cused of be­ing too star struck in their trans­fer pol­icy, more fo­cused on big names that reign in lu­cra­tive com­mer­cial deals than strik­ing the right bal­ance on the field to com­pete with the best when the mar­gins be­come fine in the knock­out stages of the Cham­pi­ons League.

Ney­mar side­lined again

Hit­ting form and find­ing for­tune at the right time of the sea­son is also key as PSG have found to their cost in the case of the world’s most ex­pen­sive player Ney­mar.

The Brazil­ian will miss both legs of the tie against United due to a metatarsal in­jury in his right foot, the same prob­lem that forced him to miss the sec­ond leg of PSG’s de­feat to Madrid last year.

Should Thomas Tuchel’s men not make it past a United re­ju­ve­nated un­der care­taker boss Ole Gun­nar Sol­sk­jaer, Ney­mar, the man signed to lead PSG to Cham­pi­ons

BIG LOSS:

AFP

PSG’s Ca­vani was in­jured against Bordeaux

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