The Round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League is upon us, and the two highest-scoring teams in Europe's top leagues are all set to go head-to-head: Borussia Dortmund (63 goals in 22 matches) vs. Paris St. Germain (67 in 25). All the signs point towards a goal fest on Tuesday night (kick-off 21:00 CET), but it seems that BVB head coach Lucien Favre may have other ideas.
''I love watching a beautiful game of football, but despite that, sometimes I'm all for winning 1-0. High-scoring matches leave the fans happy, but not necessarily the coaches,'' said Favre in his press conference before the Champions League clash against the current French title holders and runaway league leaders Paris St. Germain.
Favre spoke of a ''dangerous team,'' highlighting the 16 points PSG picked up in a group containing Real Madrid: ''That says a lot about them,'' said the 62-year-old. Favre didn't want to be drawn into a discussion about the Parisians' superstar striker Neymar, preferring to address their full complement of attacking players. ''They pose a huge threat going forward. They are absolute masters of certain elements of the game. As soon as you lose the ball, they will hit you at lightning speed.''
''If we can win the ball back, that will give us possession and a greater sense of calm''
It therefore came as little surprise that Favre was keen to place the emphasis on defence. ''We need to perform extremely well. The key to success is often in how well we defend. If we can win the ball back, that will give us possession and a greater sense of calm.''
The duel between Europe's deadliest sharpshooters may well come down to which team can do a better job on the defensive side of things. It's possible that the French champions will choose to revert from their customary 4-2-2-2 formation featuring high-flying fullbacks in favour of the more cautious 4-3-3 system they used to great effect in Madrid. Favre will no doubt have weighed up this possibility when preparing his tactics for the encounter. However, the Swiss coach didn't want to get too bogged down with what the opposition may or may not do. As he said: ''At the end of the day, it all comes down to us.''