Thursday, May 25, 2017

Blanc hopes Real Madrid defeat does not cost PSG

SoccerNews in UEFA Champions League 7 Dec 2015

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Laurent Blanc hopes Paris Saint-Germain’s 1-0 defeat at the hands of Real Madrid earlier this season will not come back to haunt them later in the Champions League.

The Ligue 1 champions have already booked their place in the knockout stages ahead of matchday six, but will have to settle for second spot in Group A following the defeat at the Santiago Bernabeu in November and will consequently face a group winner in the round of 16.

“The fact that we will not finish first in our group is down to our lack of efficiency in attack against Real Madrid. I hope we will not come to regret this game later on in the tournament,” Blanc said at a news conference ahead of his team’s match at home to Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday.

“We have benefited from the experience we have gained over the past few years. The gap with the big clubs is smaller than before. Hopefully we can completely close it one day.”

PSG host Shakhtar on Wednesday in their final group game and Blanc is determined to keep up their good form from recent weeks.

“This is a Champions League game and we cannot afford to take it lightly. Shakhtar are a great team,” he added.

“We are on a great run of form and I hope we can keep this up for a long time.”

Blanc will be without a number of first-team regulars on Wednesday for various reasons, but he remains confident PSG have what it takes to see off Shakhtar.

“Thiago Silva will not be part of the squad for Tuesday’s game. He has played a lot of games and I want to rest him. Javier Pastore has not resumed squad training yet and will not feature either.

“Thiago Motta, Gregory van der Wiel and Thiago Motta are doubtful. [Marco] Verratti is available again, but I have not made a decision about him yet.

“I will field a team that goes out there to win it, even if we have already qualified for the knockout stages.”

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