Samir Nasri does not believe Paris Saint-Germain would thrive over England’s top clubs if they played in the Premier League, but conceded Laurent Blanc’s men are favourites for their Champions League quarter-final against Manchester City.
City face PSG in the first leg of their crucial tie at Parc des Princes on Wednesday, but Nasri insisted the Ligue 1 champions should not be feared.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side have been knocked out by La Liga champions Barcelona at the last-16 stage for the past two seasons, while PSG succumbed in the quarter-finals for three years running – twice to the Catalan giants and once against Chelsea, who they knocked out of this season’s competition.
There has been pressure on both big-spending clubs to make progress in Europe’s premier club competition and there is plenty riding on the clash.
Nasri accepted that injuries to the likes of Joe Hart, Vincent Kompany and Raheem Sterling give PSG the advantage, but he does not feel PSG – who have already wrapped up the Ligue 1 title – could dominate in England as they have done in France.
“Yes, PSG are favourites because we have many injuries – unfortunately we will not have a full squad,” he told L’Equipe.
“PSG also have the experience of playing the quarters two [three] years running. This will be our first time and that is a slight handicap.
“It’s true they have a great team, but I do not think they are above the others [in England]. There are no easy games in England, not one. I’d like to see PSG play a Monday night at Stoke, West Ham or at the Emirates against Arsenal.
“Today, the big four is no more. There are six or seven teams who can be champions. It’s harder. Barcelona could become champions here – but this is PSG, not Barca.
“Despite all the respect that I have for PSG, we have told ourselves that they are beatable. I was at the Chelsea match at the Parc des Princes and Chelsea had chances. We will have chances too and, if Kun [Aguero] is having a good day, we can hurt them.”