Thiago Silva has warned Paris Saint-Germain not to let their Champions League clash with Chelsea distract them when they take on Montpellier in Ligue 1 on Saturday.
PSG lead their last-16 tie with Chelsea 2-1 after the first leg in Paris and could book a fourth successive quarter-finals appearance at Stamford Bridge next week.
However, the more immediate challenge is the league clash with Montpellier and, after last weekend’s defeat to Lyon – their first in 37 top-flight matches – Laurent Blanc’s side are determined to get back to winning ways.
With 10 games to play, PSG are 23 points clear of second-placed Monaco, meaning they could seal a fourth title in a row in the coming weeks.
“It’s good to win again,” Thiago Silva said after their Coupe de France victory over Saint-Etienne on Wednesday. “We’re not going to forget the match we played at Lyon. We didn’t play well… but it was better [against Saint-Etienne]. We concentrated.
“We’re ready for Chelsea. I think that everyone is aware of what awaits us over there. We’re going to try to play our game.
“[But] Montpellier will be a difficult match because we will be thinking about the important game against Chelsea.”
Blanc looks set to be without Blaise Matuidi for the league match after he was substituted after 67 minutes on Wednesday with a hamstring problem, the midfielder unlikely to be risked to ensure his availability for the Chelsea clash.
Matuidi’s injury could see Benjamin Stambouli start in midfield against his former club, who have won their last three matches to drag themselves away from the relegation zone.
Frederic Hantz’s side have scored eight goals in that run, with forwards Mustapha Yatabare, Kevin Berigaud and Souleymane Camara all grabbing two apiece.
The latest win – 3-0 against Lille – was Hantz’s fourth in six matches since replacing Rolland Courbis, the 49-year-old bringing an immediate turnaround in Montpellier’s form.
Their record against PSG suggests extending their winning run to four matches is unlikely, though – Montpellier have failed to win any of their last 11 Ligue 1 matches against PSG.
Add to that the fact that PSG are unbeaten in their last 33 home games in the league and it is a daunting prospect for Montpellier as they look to catch the champions-elect off guard.
Key Opta Stats:
– Paris Saint-Germain are unbeaten in their last five home Ligue 1 games against Montpellier (W2 D3). Their last loss was in 2010 (3-1).
– PSG are unbeaten in their last 33 home Ligue 1 games (W27 D6), their second longest run at home without losing in their history in the top-flight, behind their 39-game run without losing between January 1993 and December 1994.
– Montpellier have lost just one of their last six Ligue 1 games (W4 D1), after losing the four before that. They have won their last three games, the best current winning streak along with Bastia.
– PSG have conceded five goals in their last five Ligue 1 games, as many as in their 14 previous.
– Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been involved in six of the last seven Paris’ goals at home in Ligue 1 (3 goals, 3 assists). He has scored 98 goals in Ligue 1.
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