In exactly two weeks, PSG and Real Sociedad are set to face off in the first leg of the Champions League Round of 16 at Parc des Princes. Both teams share a similar schedule, but with slightly different challenges and priorities as they prepare for this crucial European encounter.
Two months after the draw for the Round of 16, the first leg between PSG and Real Sociedad is scheduled for February 14 at Parc des Princes. Until then, both teams will play an equal number of matches—three in total—in similar competitions but with distinct contexts.
PSG's upcoming fixtures: Balancing quality opponents
For PSG, the upcoming schedule includes two home games and one away fixture. They kick off with an away match against Strasbourg in Ligue 1 on the 21st matchday this Friday. Following this, PSG will host Brest in the French Cup on February 7 and face Lille in Ligue 1 on February 10. Despite the quality of opponents, PSG avoids extensive travel ahead of their Champions League clash.
Real Sociedad's challenges: Key away matches
Real Sociedad faces a different challenge with two away fixtures and one home game in their schedule. They confront league leaders Girona in La Liga on Saturday, followed by a crucial away Copa del Rey semi-final against Majorca on February 6. Before heading to Paris, Real Sociedad hosts Osasuna, a mid-table team, on the same day PSG faces Lille.
Key matches before PSG vs. Real Sociedad:
- Strasbourg vs. PSG on Friday, February 2, and Girona vs. Real Sociedad on Saturday, February 3.
- Mallorca vs. Real Sociedad on Tuesday, February 6, and PSG vs. Brest on Wednesday, February 7.
- Real Sociedad vs. Osasuna and PSG vs. Lille on Saturday, February 10.
While both teams share a similar schedule with league and cup matches, their priorities differ. Real Sociedad, trailing in La Liga, sees the Copa del Rey as a tangible objective, especially with strong competitors like Barcelona and Real Madrid eliminated. On the other hand, PSG, comfortably leading in Ligue 1, has more flexibility and may rotate players, considering their recent draw against Brest.
PSG's wider squad offers more rotation options, allowing coach Luis Enrique to manage players effectively. Despite injuries, PSG maintains a healthier squad compared to Real Sociedad, whose coach recently expressed concerns about player fatigue. With a congested schedule of nearly nine matches in just 31 days, PSG might enter the Champions League Round of 16 in better condition than their Spanish counterparts.
As both teams navigate a busy schedule in February, PSG's depth advantage and careful management may prove crucial as they aim to progress against Real Sociedad in the Champions League.