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Lucescu: Paris could in time eclipse Real Madrid

Mircea Lucescu spoke of Paris Saint-Germain's massive potential and tipped the French team to reach the quarters again this term – but, he hopes, Shakhtar will be there too.

The Paris squad trains in Lviv
The Paris squad trains in Lviv ©AFP/Getty Images
  • Mircea Lucescu: PSG have the potential to be stronger than Real Madrid
  • Laurent Blanc says Shakhtar's "beautiful football" is a threat to anyone
  • Zlatan Ibrahimović one goal shy of Pauleta's all-time Paris club scoring record
  • Blanc's side unbeaten in all competitions since April
  • Game takes place in Lviv, 1,175km west of Donetsk

Possible lineups
Shakhtar:
Pyatov; Srna, Kucher, Rakitskiy, Azevedo; Malyshev, Fred, Marlos, Taison; Alex Teixeira; Gladkiy.
Out: Stepanenko (suspended),
Doubtful: Shevchuk (unspecified)

Paris: Trapp; Van der Wiel, Thiago Silva, David Luiz, Maxwell; Matuidi, Verratti, Thiago Motta; Cavani, Ibrahimović, Di María.
Doubtful: David Luiz (knee)

Mircea Lucescu, Shakhtar coach
PSG are a really strong team who have developed impressively over the past four or five years. They have signed many great players and created a tight-knit group. They have a strong defence and a fantastic attack. PSG have the potential to be even stronger than Real Madrid.

They have been in the last eight of the Champions League for two consecutive seasons and I think they will be there again – hopefully not at our expense. All their players are true stars; lots of money was spent on them, they're really wonderful players.

I don't agree that Edinson Cavani is in the shadow of Zlatan Ibrahimović and Ángel Di María. Cavani is the team's attacking engine.

©UEFA.com

Laurent Blanc, Paris coach
Shakhtar are a great team with a great coach who has his own football philosophy. They have very good Brazilian players and strong Ukrainian footballers whom I studied in the past. They play beautiful football and always provide problems for Europe's biggest clubs.

The team who plays better in defence will win. I understand that the Champions League is the holy grail for you and for us, for everyone, and the media judge us principally on this competition – but we have our goals in other competitions as well.

Di María’s Paris adventure
Di María’s Paris adventure

Weekend results
Nantes 1-4 Paris (Bammou 11; Ibrahimović 48, Cavani 73, Di María 80, Aurier 90)
Paris came from behind to consolidate their lead at the top of Ligue 1, Zlatan Ibrahimović moving within one goal of Pauleta's club record of 109. Substitute Edinson Cavani scored his eighth of the season.

Olimpik Donetsk 2-3 Shakhtar (Kadimyan 18, Lysenko 67; Alex Teixeira 38pen 90, Ordets 78pen)
Shakhtar stretched their winning Ukrainian Premier League run to four matches with victory against their fellow Donetsk side.

Form guide (all competitions, most recent first)
Shakhtar: WWWLWW
Paris: WWDWDW

Reporter's view: Lyubomir Kuzmyak
The 4-0 defeat at Real Madrid on matchday one was a bitter blow for Shakhtar and means Mircea Lucescu's men probably need to overcome Paris to stay in the hunt. That will be a tall order against a team unbeaten in competitive fixtures since April. Much will hinge on the battle between strikers Alex Teixeira and Cavani, who have been in peak form on the domestic front.

Did you know?
Shakhtar have lost only three of their last 16 home games in the UEFA Champions League group stage, winning eight; find out more in the match background.

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