Pablo Sarabia of Paris Saint-Germain competes during the Ligue 1 football match between Paris Saint-Germain and Dijon in Paris, on Feb. 29, 2020. (Photo by Jack Chan/Xinhua)
PSG midfielder Pablo Sarabia admits it would be "difficult to predict what will happen" when they meet Atalanta in Champions League quarterfinal.
MADRID, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) -- Paris Saint-Germain's Spanish midfielder Pablo Sarabia is likely to start for the French champions in Wednesday night's Champions League quarterfinal against Atalanta in Lisbon.
With Angel Di Maria suspended and Kylian Mbappe injured, the Spaniard should play in a game PSG are favorites to win, but where a lack of match practice could be a handicap to their European hopes.
While Atalanta finished Italy's delayed Serie A season just one week ago, France's Ligue 1 was canceled in March because of COVID-19, and Sarabia's side has played only two competitive matches in the last five months.
"It's true that we are not at the same level as March," admitted Sarabia in an interview published in Spanish sports paper Diario AS.
"In February and March, we were at the top of our game and it was down to the work of the season, but then we went through something that none of us has experienced and we need to get back to our rhythm," he added.
Pablo Sarabia (R) of Paris Saint-Germain shoots during the Ligue 1 match between Paris Saint-Germain and Angers at Parc des Princes in Paris, Oct. 5, 2019. (Photo by Jack Chan/Xinhua)
"The Atalanta players will have more games in their legs, so we have to be focused to prepare in the best possible way for this match. Atalanta have had a fantastic season," cautioned the former Real Madrid and Sevilla player.
This season's Champions League quarterfinals and semifinals will be played over one game and in empty stadiums and the midfielder admitted it would be "very different," although he pointed out that PSG had beaten Borussia Dortmund behind closed doors.
"It will be different to play without an audience, but there is no greater motivation than playing in the Champions League. It is difficult to predict what will happen," concluded Sarabia. ■