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Matuidi vital to PSG hopes

Blaise Matuidi is as important to Paris Saint-Germain as Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva, according to Olivier Dacourt.

The former Inter Milan and Fulham midfielder has hailed the work-rate of his compatriot at the heart of Carlo Ancelotti’s side, and believes they will miss his presence in the Champions League quarter-final second leg after his last-gasp equaliser against Barcelona at Parc des Princes.

“Blaise is as important to PSG as Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva,” Dacourt told Le Parisien.

“He runs for two, recovers an incredible number of balls and, in addition, he scored the goal of hope.”

With Matuidi suspended, Dacourt believes the return to fitness of Thiago Motta will be vital to the Ligue 1 leaders’ chances of securing a famous result, a belief echoed by former PSG midfielder Vincent Guerin.

“In a midfield with two ball-winners, the most natural partnership to me is a Thiago Motta/(Marco) Verratti pairing,” Dacourt explained.

“If Thiago is not recovered, then they will need to choose (Clement) Chantome.”

“Ancelotti does not have 36 solutions,” Guerin added.

“If Thiago Motta is back on his feet, his experience is unmatched in my opinion.”

PSG will travel to Camp Nou to face Barcelona in the return leg on Wednesday.

Thu 4 April, 2013
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