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Ancelotti wants PSG to seize 'great opportunity'

Published: Tuesday 5 March 2013, 19.28CET
First-leg victors, Paris Saint-Germain FC have a "great opportunity" to make the last eight for the first time in 18 years as they host a Valencia CF side needing "several goals".

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ParisValencia

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on target76
 
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Published: Tuesday 5 March 2013, 19.28CET

Ancelotti wants PSG to seize 'great opportunity'

First-leg victors, Paris Saint-Germain FC have a "great opportunity" to make the last eight for the first time in 18 years as they host a Valencia CF side needing "several goals".

With Paris Saint-Germain FC in a commanding position to reach the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals for the first time since 1995, Carlo Ancelotti has urged his players to grasp the "great opportunity" before them when they resume their last-16 tie against Valencia CF leading 2-1.

Visiting coach Ernesto Valverde knows his side will have to be sharp in attack to retrieve the situation, while keeping their focus at the back to prevent the hosts from adding to their two away goals from the first leg. "We need to find the right balance," he said.

PSG
Carlo Ancelotti, coach
David Beckham has played two matches since he arrived and has played well. He provides us with his qualities and his character and he's as important as any other player here. Maybe he will play tomorrow, in place of the suspended Marco Verratti, maybe he won't. We need to forget about the first leg and play at full speed for 90 minutes. We must defend and attack well during the entire match.

Kevin Gameiro could replace [suspended] Zlatan Ibrahimović, that's one option, but we could also change our game plan, although Gameiro and Ezequiel Lavezzi are our only available strikers. Thiago [Silva] is a great player so everyone is happy to see him back. I'm expecting from him exactly what I'm expecting from all the other players: that they play as a team, as we did in the first leg. PSG are never stronger than when we play as a team.

The club has a great opportunity, as do the fans and the players – some of them could reach the quarter-finals for the first time. And for me also, it's very important. We need to forget the first leg and concentrate. Valencia have a very attractive style which I don't think they'll change, although they could be more defensive and attack on the break.

It's difficult to be competitive in all competitions. Barcelona haven't managed to do it – they're out of the cup – nor have Real Madrid, who are off the pace in the league. We're coming to a very delicate part of the season, but I trust in our capabilities.

Weekend result
Saturday: Stade de Reims 1-0 PSG (Krychowiak 64)
Sirigu; Van der Wiel, Alex, Sakho, Armand; Verratti (Beckham 65), Matuidi; Lucas (Gameiro 77), Pastore (Ménez 67); Ibrahimović, Lavezzi.

• PSG suffered a shock defeat at relegation-threatened Reims, despite their hosts being reduced to ten men on 59 minutes.

Team news
Zlatan Ibrahimović and Marco Verratti are both suspended. At the back, Thiago Silva (out since 11 January) and Thiago Motta (27 January) have been sidelined with thigh injuries. Jérémy Menez misses out with a groin problem.

Valencia
Ernesto Valverde, coach
What are our tactics for the match? The same as those we used in the first leg, but hopefully without conceding. Seriously, we were punished by PSG on the break. We dominated possession but they were the more dangerous team. It's up to us to take our chances.

The players know we'll have to score some goals. We'll have to be quick to attack while also defending well, because they have good forwards. We need to find the right balance. I have few options in defence, but I'm very happy with [defender] Jérémy Mathieu's performances. He has a lot of qualities and has produced some good displays. We'll need to assess his fitness because he's just coming back from injury.

Valencia didn't play particularly great in the first leg, despite our intentions, but that's also because of PSG. We're really going to do everything to qualify – nothing is written, so we believe in our chances. It's normal PSG are the favourites but we'll give 100% to stay in the competition.

Weekend result
Saturday: Valencia 2-2 Levante UD (Jonas 27, Soldado 45+3; Iborra 16, Barkero 89)

Guaita; Pereira, Víctor Ruiz, Mathieu, Guardado; Albelda (Viera 90), Parejo, Feghouli, Canales (Tino Costa 71), Jonas (Valdez 78); Soldado.

• Fifth-placed Valencia came from behind to lead 2-1 but were denied all three points by José Barkero's late strike. Valverde's men have won just three of their last ten games in all competitions.

Team news
With Ricardo Costa (hamstring) and Adil Rami (thigh) absent at the weekend, left-back Jérémy Mathieu was deployed in the heart of the defence alongside Víctor Ruiz. Éver Banega and Aly Cissokho were both suspended for what was a Valencia derby.

Match fact
• To stay in the competition, the Liga outfit will have to end PSG's 22-match unbeaten home run in Europe stretching back to a 4-2 reverse against Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC in November 2006.

Last updated: 06/03/13 11.20CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2013/matches/round=2000348/match=2009592/prematch/preview/index.html#psgs+great+opportunity

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