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PSG absences no excuse for failure – Blanc

Laurent Blanc will not allow absences to key players in the first leg to be used as an excuse if Paris Saint-Germain fail to overturn a 3-1 deficit against Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League.

French champions PSG were overran by an excellent Barca in last week’s quarter-final first leg at the Parc des Princes and face an uphill task to turn the match on its head at Camp Nou.

PSG were shorn of ex-Barca star Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marco Verratti in the first leg due to suspension, while captain Thiago Silva went off injured early on and Thiago Motta missed out with a thigh complaint.

Blanc, though, believes the score would have been the same even if he had a full complement of players to choose from.

“The result [last week] would have been the same with our without our injured players,” he said. 

“I would love to have all the players available for the first and second leg, but that can’t happen. We can’t complain about that because Barcelona dominated the game in Paris.”

The odds may be against PSG, but Blanc says PSG can take advantage of the fact his side are the underdogs and believes Ibrahimovic and Maxwell’s knowledge of playing for Barcelona could be particularly invaluable.

“We know the task tomorrow is extremely difficult. Our problem is that we have to score, but I do believe we will have plenty of chances to do so,” he added. 

“We have nothing to lose and we hope to prove we are better than we were in the first leg. 

“Ibrahimovic and Maxwell know the club and have lived in the city so they know the culture of the club. That is a plus for us.

“Ibrahimovic doesn’t doubt himself on the pitch, he is very sure of himself. We have nothing to lose tomorrow and he likes that kind of match. We might be able to prove that we weren’t at the right level for the first leg.

“It’s important to have good strikers in a team and we didn’t have Ibrahimovic in the first leg.”

Mon 20 Apr, 2015
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